Discuss why there were so few women sociologists in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, and how the contributions of women sociologists, such as Harriet Martineau,during this time period were received and evaluated by their male counterparts.
In the early years of sociology, the field was dominated by men because rigidly defined social roles prevented most women from pursuing an education.
1. Women were supposed to devote themselves to the four K's: Kirche, Küchen, Kinder, und Kleider (church, cooking, children, and clothes).
2. At the same time, a few women from wealthy families managed to get an education. A few even studied sociology, although the sexism in the universities stopped them from earning advanced degrees, becoming professors, or having their research recognized.
Harriet Martineau studied social life in both Great Britain and the United States, publishing Society in America decades before Durkheim and Weber were even born. While her original research has been largely ignored by the discipline, she is known for her translations of Comte's ideas into English.