Jane addams and hull house
Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane AddamsThis book has been read and reviewed a lot, so this wont really be a review so much as a short reflection. I came to Jane Addams late, after first encountering her sort of peripherally through the guy all educators are introduced to, John Dewey, one of her best friends, who wrote Democracy and Education and Experience and Education and close to 90 other books. One of the greatest thinkers of all time, with great ideas. But I am quite sure he would not have been able to write as he does without Addams.
Dewey, like William James, was a pragmatist philosopher, which is to say they were opposed to typical abstract analytical philosophy. Their approach was more. . . pragmatic or utilitarian. What possible effects in the real world do your believing one thing over another have? What good is it to think that way? So what? A show me anti-philosophy, more a method of thinking of ideas than philosophy, really.
But James and Dewey are, for all of their useful approaches and ideas, not that engaging as writers. They write as philosophers. Addams is a storyteller, a social worker, with no time for abstract discussions. Dewey and James talked and Addams walked, or she walked the talk. She DID pragmatism and they watched her do it and refined their ideas through her actions. She refined her ideas herself through her work there at Chicagos Halsted Street Hull House Settlement. She came in with ideas, realized she didnt know what she was doing, began to listen to everyone there in this community and shaped the settlement in terms of a conversation, not her own preconceived notions of social change.
And Twenty Years at Hull House, one of her several books, is a memoir of the first twenty years of her work with many other people. Addams won international acclaim and the Nobel Peace Prize and she deserved all the honors she got, but she could not have done it without Marxist labor activist Florence Kelley and so many others who shaped and reshaped her views. They did it together. She was disrespected by the academics and the just foreign disciplines like sociology, and the University of Chicago in particular because she was a WOMAN and a storyteller in a time (that is also true today) when story was seen as less than rigorous and scientific. We need Addams more than ever.
My students in this most recent class were astonished by her story and feel in love with her and what she has to say today about social action and reform and justice for the poor, for immigrants. This happens every time I teach her work. Highly recommended for anyone doing work in similar areas.
The Life and Work of Jane Addams
About Jane Addams
Settlement house founder and peace activist Jane Addams was one of the most distinguished of the first generation of college-educated women, rejecting marriage and motherhood in favor of a lifetime commitment to the poor and social reform. Inspired by English reformers who intentionally resided in lower-class slums, Addams, along with a college friend, Ellen Starr, moved in into an old mansion in an immigrant neighborhood of Chicago. Addams responded to the needs of the community by establishing a nursery, dispensary, kindergarten, playground, gymnasium, and cooperative housing for young working women. As an experiment in group living, Hull-House attracted male and female reformers dedicated to social service. Having quickly found that the needs of the neighborhood could not be met unless city and state laws were reformed, Addams challenged both boss rule in the immigrant neighborhood of Hull-House and indifference to the needs of the poor in the state legislature.
About Jane Addams and Hull-House
The Legacy of Jane Addams and Hull House
Hull House , one of the first social settlements in North America. Hull in Twelve large buildings were added from year to year until Hull House covered half a city block and included a nearby playground and a large camp in Wisconsin. Finding there a group of university undergraduate residents sharing companionship and working for social reform, she and Starr decided to establish such a settlement in a comparable district in Chicago. After raising enough funds to rent part of the Hull Mansion, Addams and Starr set out to aid the needy immigrants in the Halsted Street area.
A progressive social reformer and activist, Jane Addams was on the frontline of the settlement house movement in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. She later became internationally respected for the peace activism that ultimately won her a Nobel Peace Prize in , the first American woman to receive this honor. Only five of the Addams children survived infancy. Her mother died in childbirth when Addams was only two years old. He owned a successful mill, fought in the Civil War, was a local politician, and counted Abraham Lincoln among his friends. Addams also grew up with liberal Christian values and a deep sense of social mission. Addams graduated at the top of her class from Rockford Female Seminary in