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[Editor's Introduction]: Recognizing Early Women in Sociology Author(s): Lawrence T.

Nichols Reviewed work(s): Source: The American Sociologist, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Fall, 2002), pp. 3-4 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27700312 . Accessed: 06/07/2012 12:43
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Recognizing Early Women


Lawrence T. Nichols

in Sociology

The hope of this issue is to render the contributions of earlywomen in sociology more audible and visible to contemporary members of the profession, and thus to promote more inclusive and accurate historical accounts of sociology in theUnited States. As often happens with thematic issues involvingmultiple authors, the process of development has taken longer than anticipated. Several of the papers were originally presented at a conference, but these have undergone significant revisionswhich sometimes required extensive additional research other papers were submitted that complemented in specialized archives. Meanwhile, the initial "core group," and these also have undergone revision. Itwould have been possible set of to offer an to publish individual papers sooner, but the authors desired integrated historical studies. I very much appreciate the patience that contributors have shown, and I believe the final product is the better for it. Special thanks are due to Professor Linda an invaluable role as organizer and liaison with several authors. Rynbrandt, who played to "set the historical record Attempts straight" require researchers to wrestle with If the term is con formidable difficulties, beginning with definitions of "sociologist." strued very narrowly, so as to refer only to those with traditional academic professor access to the academy was seriously ships, the result will be exclusion of others whose limited by race, gender, class, national origin, religion, age, and other factors. On the other hand, very broad definitions will grant the credentials of "sociologist" to every on social issues, as well as to every activist who or preacher who pontificated journalist attended a rally. Both extremes are to be avoided. The dilemma, of course (as with the infamous "type A" and "type B" errors in inferential statistics), is that efforts to reduce a one danger immediately increase the opposite threat. The papers in this issue seek middle path between overly narrow and overly broad approaches. initial paper by Patricia Lengermann The and Jill Niebrugge describes the social settlement movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in order to as a practicing sociologists operating within analyze settlement workers paradigm of "the neighborly relation." As they note, the settlement movement produced a wealth of empirical studies, especially of urban problems, and leaders in the movement published in such prominent academic outlets as theAmerican Journal of Sociology and the Annals of theAmerican Academy ofPolitical and Social Science. Settlements also created journals of their own and authored numerous reports for government via such methods as sur
veys, interviews,

focus on Caroline Bartlett Crane, a Progres Linda Rynbrandt and Mary Jo Deegan sive Era reformer whose activity in sanitation and the Social Gospel was described in

questionnaires,

and

participant

observation.

Nichols

this journal several years ago (see Rynbrandt 1997). In their present analysis, the au thors develop a characterization of Crane as an ecofeminist pragmatist and forerunner of contemporary reform movements. They argue further that Crane deserves to be seen as a founding figure in sociology in the United States who associated with recognized pioneers, including Jane Addams and Charles Henderson. to Barbara Richardson the first woman portrays Ellen Swallow Richards, graduate from theMassachusetts Institute of Technology, as an applied sociologist with a distinc tive emphasis on "humanistic oekology." Trained as a biochemist, Richards focused on gender issues and the application of scientific methods for the solution of contemporary social problems. Richardson argues that, like Carolyn Bartlett Crane, Richards deserves as a to be pragmatist feminist and forerunner of contemporary ecofeminism. regarded Readers will find this paper, based on research at a dozen special archives, exceptionally rich in historical detail. Kay Broschart's paper delves into the history of the Institute for Research in Social at the University of North Science that was established in 1924 under Howard Odum Carolina. This analysis blends together gender issues and a regional emphasis, as it seeks to illumine the careers of southern women social scientists. Broschart finds that the context of the Institute women such as Katherine Jocher, Gui?n Griffis unique helped Johnson, Harriet Herring, and Margaret Jarman Hagood make valuable contributions to the development of sociology. an Linda Grant, Marybeth Stalp, and Kathryn Ward provide empirical study of the of women in theAmerican Journal of Sociology from the time of the journal's publications a roster of to the eve ofWorld War II in 1940. The authors founding in 1895 compile the women and their institutional affiliations, and undertake a comparison of their a distinctive voice writings and those of their male counterparts in AJS. They discern and vision in the women's publications that seems consistent with many concerns of contemporary feminist scholarship. The final paper, by Erich Goode, departs from the overall theme and offers a rejoin der to an analysis of the "death" of the sociology of deviance that appeared in a recent issue. Drawing on his own wealth of expertise and experience, Goode contends that the death of the field of deviance has been much exaggerated. This thoughtful and provoca tive paper is offered here in the interests of timeliness in an emerging dialogue. The success of this issue will be measured not only by the ability of the papers to correct accounts of the past, but also inadequate by their power to elicit further scholar on creators of the ship under-appreciated sociological tradition.

The American Sociologist /Fall 2002