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Women in Sociology & Modernity

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SOCI 100
Debra Pentecost

Women in Sociology & Modernity 09-26-2012 From p 13-14 of text Feminism and the Gender-Conflict Approach  Focuses on inequality and conflict between women and men  Linked to feminism (support of social equality for women and men)  Makes us aware of places in society where men are in position of power over women o Home o Workplace o Mass media  Makes us aware of the importance of women to the development of sociology o Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) – first female sociologist  Translating the writings of Auguste Comte from French to English  Documented the evils of slavery  Argued for laws to protect factory workers  Fought for changes in education policy so women wouldn’t be limited to the household o Nellie McClung (1873-1951)  Started school at 10, received a teaching certificate 6 years later  Suffrage for women  Advocate of prohibition  Factory laws for women  Formal compulsory education  Reform in Canada prisons  Equal representation for women in politics  “Famous Five”  include women in the definition of “person” in the BNA act  would allow them to be appointed in the senate From course reader: Women and the Birth of Sociology  Women were “written out” (and not “invisible”) – seen as a presence in the community but then erased from its record  Fifteen female sociologists o Well known public figures as well o Created social theory and studied sociology in the same times and places as the male founders o Recognized by their contemporaries as significant social analysts o Acted as members of the sociological community  Had their own sense of what science should be o Social critique in which research and theory had as a morally necessary focus the description, analysis, and correction of social inequality (gender, class, race, ethnicity, age)  Harriet Martineau o Illustrations of Political Economy (book) o Preeminent woman of letters – social analysis, books, journals, history, novels etc. o Translated Auguste Comte’s work o How to Observe Morals and Manners – first major statement of method  Jane Addams o Founder of Hull-House, famous Chicago social settlement  Major research institution o Major spokesperson for Progressive reform o 8 major books, 200 articles  Charlotte Perkins Gilman o Leading feminist intellectual of her day o Women and Economics & The Yellow Wallpaper o 2,000+ pieces of journalism, poetry and prose  Ida Wells-Barnett o National and international anti-lynching campaign o Active organizer for African Amrican civil rights  Anna Julia Cooper o A Voice from the South o Spokesperson for African American women o Cooper and Wells-Barnett created a genuine American non-Marxian conflict theory  Marian Weber o German feminist movement o First women in german parliament  Beatrice Potter Webb o Empirical sociology o Formed the blueprint for the British welfare state Chapter 16 Social Change: Modern and Postmodern Societies Modernity - changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution Postmodernity - transformations caused by the Information Revolution and the post-industrial economy What is Social Change? Social change - transformation of culture and social institutions over time - Static social patterns - status role, social stratification, social institutions - Dynamic social patterns - from innovations in technology to the growth of bureaucracy and the expansion of cities Major Characteristics of Social Change 1. It happens all the time. 2. It is sometimes intentional but often unplanned. 3. It is controversial. 4. Some changes matter more than others. Causes of Social Change 1. Culture and Change - Sources of cultural change: - Invention - produces new objects, ideas, and social patterns - Discovery - people take notice of existing elements of the world - Diffusion - creates change as products, people, and information spreads from one society to another 2. Conflict and Change - Inequality and conflict within a society = change - Social conflict arising from inequality (race, class, gender) forces changes in every society 3. Ideas and Change - Max Weber: traced the roots of most social changes to ideas; people with charisma (Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa) can carry a message that changes the world through their ideas; ex. religious beliefs of early Protestants set the stage for the spread of industrial capitalism 4. Demographic Change - Population patterns such as migration/immigration and aging populations play a part in social change 5. Social Movements and Change - Social movement: organized activity that encourages or discourages social change (ex. drive against slavery, women suffrage, etc.) - Types of Social Movements: - Alternative social movements - Seek limited change in only part of the population - Help certain people alter their lives - Redemptive social movements - Target specific individuals but seek more radical change - Help certain people redeem their lives - Ex. Alcoholics Anonymous - Reformative social movements - Limited change but target everyone - Ex. environmental movements - Revolutionary social movements - Most extreme - Major transformation of an entire society - Left-wing Communist party (gov't control of entire economy) and right-wing militia groups (destruction of "big gov't") - Claims Making - Process of trying to convince the public and public officials of the importance of joining a social movement to address a particular issue - For a movement to form, some issue has to be defined as a problem that demands public attention - Ex. the beginning of AIDS in 1981 Explaining Social Movements 1. Deprivation Theory - Social movements arise among people who feel deprived of something (income, safe working conditions, political rights, etc.) - Relative deprivation - Perceived disadvantage arising from some specific comparison; - Explains why movements happen in good AND bad times; not about people's actual standing but how they feel about their situation in relation to others 2. Mass-Society Theory - Social movements attract socially isolated people who join to gain a sense of identity and purpose 3. Resource Mobilization Theory - Links success of any movement to the resources available (money, human labour, mass media) 4. Culture Theory - Movements depend on cultural symbols - People must have shared understanding of injustice before they will mobilize to bring about change 5. New Social Movements Theory - Distinctive character of recent social movements in post-industrial societies - Typically national or international rather than local - Quality-of-life issues (nature environment, world peace, animal rights, etc.) 6. Political Economy Theory - Movements arise in opposition to the capitalist system that fails to meet needs of majority of the people - Ex. Millions of people in North America are unable to find good jobs and live below the poverty line; its society is in crisis Stages in Social Movements 1. Emergence - People start to think that all is not well 2. Coalescence - A strategy is developed for attracting new members and "going public" 3. Bureaucratization - Depends on professional staff as the movement becomes established 4. Decline - Resources dry up - Group faces overwhelming opposition - Members achieve their goals and lose interest - Some outlive their original causes and move on to another issue - But others lose touch with changing society Disasters: Unexpected Change Disaster - event, usually unexpected, that causes harm to people and damage property Natural disasters - such as floods, earthquakes, forest fires, and hurricanes Technological disasters - "accident"; result of the inability to control technology; ex. Chernobyl power plant in1986 Intentional disasters - one or more organized groups harm others; ex. terrorist attacks, war, genocides, etc. Major Social Consequences of
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