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Jane Addams

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Jane Addams

Jane Addams (September 6, 1860May 21, 1935) was an American social worker, sociologist and reformer. Called "The mother of Social Work."

Born in Cedarville, Illinois, she was educated in the U.S. and Europe. She graduated from the Rockford Female Seminary, now called Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois. In 1889 she co-founded (with Ellen Gates Starr) Hull House in Chicago, which was one of the first settlement houses in the United States. Influenced by Toynbee Hall in the East End of London (founded by Samuel Barnett in 1884), settlement houses like Hull House were a type of welfare house for the neighborhood poor and a center for social reform. She was a member of the American Anti-Imperialist League, American Sociology Association and a founder of both the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP.

In 1911 Addams also helped found the National Foundation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers, and she was its first president. She was also a leader in women's suffrage and pacifist movements. In 1915 she helped found the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She received the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize (shared with American educator Nicholas Murray Butler).

The Hull House could boast a group of about 2,000 people a week. It had facilities including: a night school for adults, kindergarten classes, clubs for older children, a public kitchen, an art gallery, a coffeehouse, a gymnasium, a girls club, a swimming pool, a book bindery, a music school, a drama group, a library, and labor related divisions.

The Hull House also served as a women's institution of sociology and Addams was a friend and colleague to the early men of the Chicago School of Sociology influencing their social thought of the time through her work in applied sociology, which became defined as social work by academic sociologists of the time. Addams did not, howevever, consider herself a social worker. She co-authored the Hull-House Maps and Papers in 1893 that came to define the interests and methodologies of Chicago Sociology. She worked with George H. Mead on social reform issues including women's rights and the 1910 Garment Workers' Strike. Addams combined the central concepts of symbolic interactionism with the theories of cultural feminism and pragmatism to form her sociological ideas. (Deegan, 1988)

References

Jane Addams on a   of 1940
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Jane Addams on a US postage stamp of 1940

Deegan, Mary. 1988. "Jane Addams and the Men of the Chicago School, 1892-1918". New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, Inc.

External links

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