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Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy

Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy

Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy
    Book Description:

    Using a rich array of newly available sources and contemporary methodologies from many disciplines, the ten original essays in this volume give a fresh appraisal of Addams as a theorist and practitioner of democracy. This volume demonstrates how scholars continue to interpret Addams as a model for transcending disciplinary boundaries, generating theory out of concrete experience, and keeping theory and practice in close and fruitful dialogue._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Harriet Hyman Alonso, Victoria Bissell Brown, Wendy Chmielewski, Marilyn Fischer, Shannon Jackson, Louise W. Knight, Carol Nackenoff, Karen Pastorello, Wendy Sarvasay, Charlene Haddock Seigfried, and Camilla Stivers.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09122-3
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Marilyn Fischer, Carol Nackenoff and Wendy Chmielewski
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)
    Marilyn Fischer, Carol Nackenoff and Wendy Chmielewski

    In 2006, the General Assembly of the State of Illinois designated December 10 Jane Addams Day, “a day to remember her and teach about her great accomplishments, compassion, and social conscience.”¹ In the past few decades, interest in Jane Addams has grown among scholars, activists, and the general public. In addition to remembering her “accomplishments, compassion, and social conscience,” scholars today are exploring her intellect and her powers as a theorist of democracy. Bringing recent scholarly methodologies and resources to their work, these scholars are finding startlingly fresh resources in Addams’s life and thought, applicable to contemporary challenges of war...

  5. Section I: Addams’s Experimental Method

    • 1 The Sermon of the Deed: Jane Addams’s Spiritual Evolution
      (pp. 21-39)

      In her autobiography, Jane Addams told her readers that she had been among the “few ‘unconverted’ girls” at Rockford Female Seminary in the late 1870s, but indicated that she bore that status with some pride. She had held herself “aloof” from evangelical appeals, she claimed, was “singularly unresponsive” to emotional tales of salvation and damnation, and drew comfort from her father’s nondenominational ethics and Emerson’s “rationalism.”¹ Although this public version of her spiritual history had the virtue of assuring readers in 1910 that they could do good works without the certitude of orthodoxy, it did not capture Addams’s complex, sometimes...

    • 2 The Courage of One’s Convictions or the Conviction of One’s Courage? Jane Addams’s Principled Compromises
      (pp. 40-62)

      Jane Addams would be just as controversial today as she was in her own lifetime, idolized by some and reviled by others. Ideologically, she is something of a Rorschach test. For upholders of the status quo, she was branded a revolutionary, a socialist, and a tool of labor, while for ideological radicals she was too reformist and willing to compromise on principles and work within instead of against the system.² For the general public, Addams’s positions were most often praised when they seemed to conform to a conventional feminine model of good works and attacked when she publicly supported unpopular...

  6. Section II: Jane Addams and the Practice of Democratic Citizenship

    • 3 Jane Addams’s Theory of Cooperation
      (pp. 65-86)

      For most people, cooperation is one of those ideas that seems too vague to be much use as a guide to living or to seeking social reforms, let alone substantial enough to constitute a theory. But in the nineteenth century in Great Britain and the United States, as scholars have shown, the critics of the dominant ideology of individualism—that is, those on the left wing of the political spectrum—embraced cooperation as a theory and developed methods for acting upon it in the economic realms of production and consumption, in the social realm of utopian community living, and in...

    • 4 A Civic Machinery for Democratic Expression: Jane Addams on Public Administration
      (pp. 87-97)

      Among Jane Addams’s many gifts to American civic philosophy and institution building, her philosophy of public administration is probably one of the least known. Yet her thinking on administration was both unique and profound: unique among Progressive reformers in seeing that what public agencies do and the way they are run have significant implications for democracy; profound in its lasting contribution to a theory of administration that is political in the deepest sense. In order to convey the importance of Addams’s ideas on public administration, I begin by filling in some necessary historical and theoretical background, against which Addams’s ideas...

    • 5 “The Transfigured Few”: Jane Addams, Bessie Abramowitz Hillman, and Immigrant Women Workers in Chicago, 1905–15
      (pp. 98-118)

      Learning of the proposed demolition of Hull-House in the spring of 1961, Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) vice president Bessie Abramowitz Hillman pleaded with Chicago mayor Richard Daley to do everything in his power to save the institution she regarded as “not only hallowed and venerable,” but as “sacred to every American with the slightest understanding of the social forces that have given America its internal strength and vitality. . . . In the fullest sense,” Hillman elaborated, “it is woven into the fabric of America.” Bessie Abramowitz Hillman joined “a concerted effort by labor unions, civic organizations, and...

    • 6 New Politics for New Selves: Jane Addams’s Legacy for Democratic Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century
      (pp. 119-142)

      Feminist arguments for an ethic of care and at least some strains in the recent civic engagement debate in the United States share the premise that meaningful democratic politics requires transcending notions of the autonomous individual whose self-interest is an adequate expression of citizenship. These current scholarly deliberations have yet to fully engage an earlier twentieth-century predecessor who had an expanded and deeper conception of citizenship and a wider definition of the political than we routinely encounter in American politics. Jane Addams’s broad vision of the political, her concern that democratic processes heed the voices and expressed wishes of a...

    • 7 Toward a Queer Social Welfare Studies: Unsettling Jane Addams
      (pp. 143-162)

      My task in this essay, located as it is in a volume that explores Jane Addams’s relationship to contemporary theory, is to imagine a relationship between the legacies of Hull-House and a body of thought that consolidated in the 1990s under the rubric of post-structuralist queer theory. To argue for that relationship is, to some degree, an improbable task. Many historians of social welfare place Jane Addams’s Hull-House settlement as an origin point in the invention of state welfare in the United States; meanwhile, many post-structuralist critics of sexual identity invoke the operations of state welfare as an insidiously dangerous...

  7. Section III: Democratic Cosmopolitanism and Peace

    • 8 The Conceptual Scaffolding of Newer Ideals of Peace
      (pp. 165-182)

      How can we make sense of Newer Ideals of Peace? Even a number of Addams’s closest associates questioned the extent to which her 1907 book was in fact a book about peace. Florence Kelley, Addams’s longtime colleague at Hull-House, wrote in her review, “The title of Miss Addams’s volume is not altogether a happy one. The book is . . . ‘a curious commentary on the fact that we have not yet attained self-government.’” Allen Davis, in his 1973 biography of Addams, advanced the same critique. “Much of the book was not about war and peace, but about the plight...

    • 9 A Global “Common Table”: Jane Addams’s Theory of Democratic Cosmopolitanism and World Social Citizenship
      (pp. 183-202)

      The purpose of this essay is to recover Jane Addams’s overlooked contribution to thinking beyond the nation-state, so that her insights can be incorporated into contemporary theorizing about how to take democracy to a transnational level. This new problem emerged in a period of hopefulness at the end of the cold war. The effectiveness of nonstate human rights activists in campaigns, such as the one to end the use of land mines, and the evolution of the European Union created new relations across borders that challenged the old boundaries of state-centric notions of democracy. Needing a new expansive language, theorists...

    • 10 Can Jane Addams Serve as a Role Model for Us Today?
      (pp. 203-218)

      In January 2002, I began a quest to see if I could find in Jane Addams a role model for peace-minded people (including myself) in these confusing times following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the unleashing of the U.S. military on the Middle East. I was particularly interested in finding a historical voice that could help me bring hope to my distressed students. My journey began when I was asked to present a paper on Addams and peace at the February 2002 Jane Addams symposium held at Swarthmore College. Because of the close proximity of my workplace...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 219-222)
  9. Index
    (pp. 223-230)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 231-233)