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Lecture 6

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SOCI 100
Debra Pentecost

Women and the Birth of Sociology Excerpt from: Patricia Madoo Lengermann & Jill Niebrugge-Brantley The Women Founders: Sociolog and Social Theory, 1830-1930 History as a social Construction  Rising out of sociology discipline’s power arrangements  How did these women get left out of sociological context?  Reflects constant ongoing conflict between Exclusionary and Inclusionary values & practices “Written out” vs “Invisibility”  Written out: suggest being seen to have a presence – then being erased.  Argue case of erasure not invisibility o For the 15 female sociologists examined in article Four reason why erasure rather than invisibility: 1. Almost all well-known public figures in their lifetimes a. Larger than discipline of sociology – which just emerging b. Like forefathers – work relevant for all social sciences 2. Created social theory a. Did sociology in same time/place as male founders 3. Widely recognized by contemporaries – including men – as significant social analysts 4. All acted as members of the sociological community a. Worked as sociologists b. Belonged to national sociological associations c. Published work explicitly conceredwith sociological principles d. Identified themselves as sociologists e. Reconized as such by contemporaries Margrit Eichler (2001)  “Women Pioneers in Candian Sociology: The effects of a politics of gender and a politics of knowledge.”  Trying to reverse politics of erasure  Eichler looks at 24 introductory textbooks  Published since 1991 - either Canadian or US origin but ‘Canadianized’ Questions in Eichler’s study: 1. To what degree have feminist scholars succeeded in challenging and altering the conventional history of sociology? 2. Are early women sociologists as well as feminist scholars in general recognized as of general importance? 3. To what degree has feminism re-shaped our understanding of general sociology? 4. Textbooks: “time-lagged measures of the state of the discipline.” What changes from “holy sociological trinity of Marx, Drukheim, Weber?What included apart from “conventional list of ‘dead white fathers’?” Context – 1800s  Sex roles rigidly defined – risk social disapproval for breaking out of social expectations,  Women: wife & mother  Lack of opportunity outside household prevented most from obtaining higher education  Most women no education beyond basic reading/writing – many do not even have that  Those who do make a m
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