Study Guides (238,096)
Canada (114,916)
Sociology (916)

Chapter 5 – early women sociologists.docx

10 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Sociology 2240E
Charles Levine

Chapter 5 Early Women Sociologists Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) • Known as sociology’s first “founding mother” • Is a qualitative, comparative sociologist • Believed that the formulation of sociology is a subject matter, and that it’s method should be developed in a disciplined and systematic way o Sociology’s subject matter is a social life in society – it’s patterns, consequences, and problems • Society to her is understanding it as equivalent to a nation, state or politico- cultural entity • Believes that life of any society is influenced by: o General social laws o The principle of progress o The emergence of science as the most advanced product of human behaviour o The physical environment o Population dynamics • Most important law of social life is by which she judges the fairness of society o Asystem of social arrangements is helpful to human happiness, because it allows individuals to realize their basic human nature as autonomous moral and practical agents • Sociology’s project is to assess the extent to which a person develops “morals and manners” o “morals”  society’s collective ideas of prescribed and proscribed behaviour o “manners”  the patterns of action and association • the principle that the aim of human association is human happiness o says if a society wants to progress it has to conform • Unlike Comte and Spencer, she chooses to study the organization of society in the actual patterns of human relationships and activities • Social activities can also be studied less formally o She studies hospitality, attitudes toward money and nature, norms of housing, relations around sexuality, etc • Sets out to discover the moral principles that society’s members have collectively set up for themselves, their cultural “morals” o the well-being of a society is the alignment between moral codes and actual behaviours or manner o calls a misalignment an “anomaly” • Four anomalies that disrupt the pursuit of happiness: o Institution of slavery o Unequal status of women o Pursuit of wealth o Fear of public opinion • Three measurements she uses to develop if a society promotes autonomy or allows domination o The condition of the less powerful-women, racial minorities, etc o Cultural attitudes towards authority o The extent to which all people are provided with the necessities for autonomous moral and practical action • Argues that a sociologist must try to develop a systematic understanding as a strategy for discovering the meanings of an activity for the actors • Much more advanced methodologically than Comte or Spencer • Makes relational facts of marriage in the US a key point of the moral condition of society as well as enslavement with theAfrican-American society • Says the woman, like a slave, is described as being indulged as a substitute for justice • Focused on the wage labor of the working-class women – in factories, agriculture and domestic service o Brings together double oppressions of class and gender • Also studied crime and punishment, functions of religion, labor conflicts, etc o Concluded that her sociology relates to all aspects of social life • In the end, she was ironically defeated by her gender Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) • Method of sociology: theory-building • Fundamental organization of society: o Argues that in basic social institutions, (economy, family), we find gender inequality • Lacked the term “gender” and preferred to use “sex” o The “sex” distinction is the marking differences between men and women which arises directly out of biological reproduction  Thus, gender stratification is the primary tension in the economies of all known societies, producing a “master class” of men and a subordinate class as women • Known as “sexuo-economic arrangement” • Sexuo-economic arrangement parallels Marx’s exploration of the economic class conflict • For both Gilman and Marx, the economy is the basic social institution, and it is through work that individuals realize their species-nature as producers • Meaningful work is the essence of human self-realization; restricting or denying the individual access to meaning work reduces the individual to a condition of nonhumanity. o This is by which she judges the fairness or unfairness of the society • Denying a individual to work can lead to social pathologies; class conflict, political corruption, greed, poverty, child neglect and abuse, human alienation • Three themes from her sociology that are relevant to the concerns of contemporary feminist sociology: o The production and reproduction of gender stratification o The impact of gender stratification on societal organization in general o Her strategies for social change on economic and class relations • Gender is her only instrument of countervailing power, the wiles of femininity, a focus on sexuality, and the ploy of economic helplessness o Out of this class arrangement arises masculinity and femininity as cultural themes (the aggressive man and the compliant woman) • From birth on, socialization and education teach rational and structural modes, and all culture conspires to reinforce them through life o Thus, sexuo-economic arrangement is constantly reproduced • The sexuo-economic arrangement gives rise to the individual family, individual mating or married couple or household o Dominants and subordinates in the sexuo-economic arrangement are linked in pairs, and each pair is isolated in its own “little household” o Society is division between the public and the private o Public:  The first sphere is mainly male dominate and women are marginal to it  The second sphere is of women’s labor, labor dependent on the economic power of the man o Private:  The household is an area of untrained demanding labor, wasteful of the woman o This pressure, exerts competition, greed and encourages individualism • The solution to this wasteful sexuo-economic arrangement is to break up the arrangement of sex classes o Requires women to see their full size and strength o Requires the rational reconstruction of the institution of the household so that women can be free to do the work they want • Gilman’s revolution of gender changes: o Wants to redesign domestic space and domestic activity o Each person will have a “room of their own” and space for association with the family of their choice and construction o Child care, food service, laundry, cleaning, will be done professionally o This scenario was Gilman’s utopia, the organizational form of Jane Addams’s Hull House • Her main goal was wanting a radical reform of both gender and class relations • She brings a sociological conscious to her work • Gilman’s gender diminished her authority as a sociological spokesperson JaneAddams and the Chicago Women’s School • Men at the university of Chicago were building “the Chicago school”, the group of women we shall call “the Chicago women’s school” were also creating a sociology and a sociological theory o JaneAddams was the focal energy of the group • The women of Chicago defined the purpose of sociology and their role as sociologists as the reform and improvement of society • The Chicago women helped lead the fight for women’s suffrage, factory legislation, child labor laws, protection of working women, aid for dependent mothers and children, better sanitization in the cities, trade unions, arbitration of labor disputes, minimum wages, and minimum-wage boards JaneAddams (1860-1935) • Her sociology grew directly out of her social activism • Wanted to create a sociology based in the practice of a “democratic social ethics” o Means to achieve the democratic transformation of all parts of the society through the inculcation of social ethics Social Ethics • Most original concept, is what united the goal of a society that is democratic in all its relations with the practical action necessary to its achievement • Addams defines social ethics as the practice of rules of right relationship that produce and sustain in the individual an orientation to action based on “concern for the welfare of a community” • Addams incorporates experience, life and action into her sociology • As a protagonist, she values her own experience over textual authority • Uses “privileges” over theory o Makes fewer generalizations than male theorists, her illustrations are concrete and particular • Seeks more than verstehen o Seeks to establish what contemporary feminist theorists call for in research: an authentic, caring relation between the researcher and the subject of the research  This practice is called “the neighbourly relation” o Purses the issue of vantage point: the practice of rendering accounts of social reality from the perspectives of the various individuals involved • Addams envisions society as a network of humans beings coming together to realize both interests and ethical ideals o Seeks to not call them “organizations” but how to make them possess certain common qualities of social democracy • Argues that democracy cannot be built by people who expect other people to “see the light” • Argues that ethical systems are a foundational feature of social life o Sees reason and emotion working together, especially happiness • Sees that industrial change is currently forcing adjustments in other areas of social life o Sees materiality and ideas as mutually interdependent; ethical systems must be aligned with the social relations of production • Ademocratic social ethic would be based on the facts, revealed in one’s own experience: 1. No one is less important than the other 2. All people must be active agents 3. As active agents all people must seek opportunities a. Personal safety of all members of the democratic social unit is tied to the personal safety of each • Addams’sociological theory is devoted to analyzing how to transform political creed into social creed • PROBLEM 1: people cling to belated ethics that are inappropriate to the organization of material production o The belated ethic of individualism shows itself in the insistence of owners on keeping absolute control of production processes, enforcing specialization on the workers and refusing to share organizational control with them o “the division of labor”, “robs” the workers of a common and shared interest in their work  this alienation can be overcome by an industrial democracy that allows workers to participate in the organization of production • Household and family: o The belated ethic of the family restricts women’s sense of ethical responsibility for the larger society, making them feel ethically adequate even when they exploit their domestic help so long as the needs of their family and friends are addressed o The growth in size and complexity of human relationships meant that women could no longer live within the narrow confines of the family claim  They must assume a social ethic - taking responsibility for the welfare of the whole community to which they were now attached • PROBLEM 2: the practice depends upon an ability to take the vantage point of the other o Reoccurring theme is the elite class doesn’t understand the valuable ethics of the poor • Addams has 3 strategies for establishing a democratic social ethics as the necessary compliment to industrialization: 1. Through formal education 2. Through cons
More Less

Related notes for Sociology 2240E

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.