Women and the Birth of Sociology

September 19, 2010

This blog discussion is base on chapter 3 of the book Seeing Ourselves, the article �Women and the Birth of Sociology�

Answer and discuss the following questions:
What does it mean to say that women have been ‘written out’ of sociology’s history? Why did this happen? What issue or ideas did sociology�s women founders have in common? What is the importance of recognizing the contribution of sociology women founders?

The assigned students to answer this questions are asked to do an original posts and other students are asked to comment on these posts. The instruction for making original post will be emailed to all students.

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3 Comments Add your own

  •    nataliia  |  September 26th, 2010 at 10:42 pm     Reply

    In my opinion, the fact that women have been “written out” of sociology’s history is directly connected to the world’s history as a whole. For centuries women had been treated as slaves. They had no civil rights. In the USA they even couldn’t vote till 1919! Why such a social inequality? Why did men let themselves to act in such a “mannish” way? Men felt their supremacy against women. Lucretia Mott, who was an active figure in the nineteenth-century reform movements, wrote in her speech (“Why should not woman seek to be a reformer? “) that “while man assumed that the situation they had was the original state designed for woman, that the existing “differences were not arbitrary nor the result of accident,” but grounded in nature; she would not make the necessary effort to obtain her just rights, lest it should subject her to kind of scorn and contemptuous manner in which she had been spoken of”. And she was right, a woman was the mere plaything or the toy of society, content with her outward adorning. I think it concerns the sociology history as well. All those women working in this domain were very smart and talented, well-known public figures. They interpreted works of Marx, Engels, Durkheim, Max Weber. They made scientific researches focusing on such issues as gender, class, race, ethnicity, age. They also took up economic and political problems. They all published their works, translated works of outstanding sociologists. They had different point of view, they looked at things differently than men did and they succeeded in it. But you still won’t find a lot of proofs that they really made a great contribution to the sociology as we know it today. I’t s important to know first of all to a woman and then to the whole society that she had been created not just to be the shadow of her husband but someone who can improve and change the world and whose voice will be heard.

  •    Leticia  |  September 27th, 2010 at 4:21 pm     Reply

    To say woman have been written out of society it means that they were once recognized in the community for there work, but then as time went on they were taken out. I believe this happened because woman were always looked and treated as slaves or one of the lower classes of humans. In my opinion Men were not okay nor comfortable with woman succeeding in a profession that they took interest in. Woman Sociologists were known for there thoughts and theories in social sciences. They all published works, translated works of other sociologists(both men and woman) The woman had different points of view than the men, because of this we had a more understanding and a wider range of social sciences and theory. by Leticia

  •    Amy Trombley  |  November 22nd, 2010 at 12:51 pm     Reply

    I agree that woman’s roles in sociology were limited by the way that society viewed women. It was not until American culture changed and women became more respected as scholars and viewed as peers and not as less significant intellectual beings that there work began to be recognized.. There are however distinct differences between men and women which contribute to a sociological bias. For example as shown in Carol Gilligan’s theory of gender and moral development, women are seen as being more sensitive than men. This can be seen as an example of seeing the general in the particular. Most women are more sensitive in moral reasoning than most men, but that does not mean that every woman or man has to be that way. Because women were limited in the research and contributions during the development of sociology we are now seeing that there are different perspectives and approaches to sociological research that women have vs. men.

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