Hull-House Maps and Papers
In 1895, the Hull-House Association published Hull-House Maps and Papers. It was a compilation of essays written by the residents of Hull-House and others working in conjunction with them, and edited by Jane. Included with the book were two maps that showed the distribution of immigrants of eighteen nationalities living within a third of a square mile around Hull-House. “The book was notable for its impact on the University of Chicago Sociology Department ... Development of mapping as a statistical technique to reveal social group patterns became a major contribution of the Chicago School.”71
Settlement houses were based on ideas of both Christian Socialists and Social Gospel, the belief that the social sciences could solve the problems of the urban dwellers in the industrial society.72 Jane was adamant that those really benefiting from the work being done at the settlement house were the settlers themselves, not the people of the neighbourhood.73 However, Jane understood that in order to solve problems, one must first understand them. She organised teams to research social problems in the areas surrounding Hull-House. Hassencahl says that Hull-House became an “internationally important intellectual center where leaders of many disciplines gathered to teach, study, and do research,”74 and Deegan adds that “Hull-House was for women sociologists what the University of Chicago was for men sociologists: the institutional center for research and social thought.”75 In addition to publishing their findings, the information garnered in these investigations became critical in supporting legislative changes that would benefit the immigrants and the poor.76
Jane did not set out to become a sociologist. In the preface to Hull-House Maps and Papers, she said that the residents of the settlement house did not normally conduct sociological investigations, which she saw as being different from the investigations into labour abuses or conditions in the factories. She said that she objected to the view of the neighbourhood as a laboratory. The purpose of Hull-House was to help the neighbours, not to study them.77
But a sociologist is what she became. Faderman calls Jane “probably the first [person] to take the work of female social scientists seriously.”78 She was a charter member of the American Sociological Association, founded in 1905. She also taught sociology at both the University of Chicago Extension and the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy.79
Whatever Jane thought, Hull-House was an experiment of sorts. Fortunately, it was repeatable. By 1900, almost 100 settlement houses like Hull-House had opened in the U.S. In addition, Jane inspired a shift in the focus of existing groups. Women’s clubs, which had been founded by society women for the purpose of cultural enhancement banded together to form the Federation of Women’s Clubs, united to civic action like the abolishment of child labour, the organising of public libraries, tenement reform.80
At the time, there was a dichotomy that will sound familiar to the modern reader. The men of the University of Chicago Sociology Department tended to be remote from their subjects. Their offices were in the university, from which they coordinated their studies. They saw women sociologists as mere data collectors. The women sociologists, on the other hand, saw sociology as a tool. While the men saw the data they collected and the information they generated as the end itself, the women saw it as a directional sign. The data told them where the problems lay, and the role they saw for themselves was to be the solver of problems.81
After World War II, there was a move to quantify and make “scientific” all aspects of what are now considered the soft sciences. As a result, sociology was adopted by business and science, and was almost entirely taken over by its male faculty. At the University of Chicago, all of the female professors were moved from the Sociology Department to the Department of Social Services by 1920.82
71. Hassencahl, Fran. “Jane Addams.” Women Public Speakers in the United States, 1800-1925: A Biocritical Sourcebook. Karlyn Kohrs Campbell (ed.). Westport, CT; London: Greenwood Press, 1993. pp. 3-4.
73. Reynolds, Moira Davison. Women Champions of Human Rights: Eleven U.S. Leaders of the Twentieth Century. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1991. p. 6
74. Hassencahl, Fran. pp. 3-4.
75. Deegan, Mary Jo. Jane Addams and the Men of the Chicago School, 1892-1918/. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1988. p. 33.
76. Faderman, Lillian. “Social Housekeeping: The Inspiration of Jane Addams.” To Believe in Women: What Lesbians Have Done for America—A History. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999. pp. 115-135.
77. Deegan, Mary Jo. p. 35.
78. Faderman, Lillian. p. 122.
79. Hassencahl, Fran. p. 3.
80. Faderman, Lillian. p. 123.
81. Deegan, Mary Jo. p. 33.
82. Hassencahl, Fran. p. 4.