Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) is one of the most important women contributors to classical sociology, primarily because of the originality and significance of her theoretical work. Although well known to her contemporaries in both the United States and Europe, Gilman’s legacy was not fully acknowledged by sociologists until her work was recently rediscovered under the impetus of second wave feminist scholarship. Gilman's overarching accomplishment as a sociologist was to formulate a still unparalleled conception of gender. She was both the first theorist to separate gender, as socially constructed behavior, from biological sex and to treat it as a significant variable in social analysis, and the first to create a general theory of society in which gender stratification serves as the foundational principle. She also offered important ideas for the sociological subfields of economy, work, culture and family, presenting her arguments in a variety of forms: formal theory, verse, essays, public lectures, novels and short stories. The essays selected for this volume feature essays of interest to sociologists from across a spectrum of disciplines: economics, literature, women's studies, philosophy and history as well as sociology. The essays are arranged thematically with sections on: gender and society; economy and society; methodology; the public role of the sociologist; towards a sociology of women; and race, class and gender.

    Contents: Introduction; Bibliography; Part I Gilman and the Sociological Imagination; Charlotte Perkins Gilman: a feminist’s struggle with womanhood, Mary A. Hill; Introduction to the 1998 edition of Women and Economics, Michael Kimmel and Amy Aronson; Excerpt from Charlotte Perkins (1860-1935) - Gender and Social Structure, Patricia Lengermann and Gillian Niebrugge. Part II Gilman and the Sociological Canon: Excerpt from Introduction: Gilman's Sociological journey from Herland to Ourland, Mary Jo Deegan; Bringing a modest proposal, James L. Terry; ’Why don’t I know about these women?’. The integration of early women sociologists in classical theory courses, Jan E. Thomas and Annis Kukulan; 19th-century American feminist economics: from Caroline Dall to Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Robert W. Dimand. Part III A Multi-Paradigm Theorist: Evolutionary theory in the social philosophy of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Maureen L. Egan; A rose by any other name: Charlotte Perkins Stetson (Gilman) and the case for American reform socialism, Mark W.Van Wienen; Beatrice Webb and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: feminist debates and contradictions. R.A. Sydie and Bert N. Adams; Introduction to The Man-Made World, Mary A. Hill; Can a ’man-hating’ feminist also be a pragmatist? On Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Charlene Haddock Seigfried. Part IV The General Theory: Charlotte Perkins Gilman on the theory and practice of feminism, Carl N. Degler; Sex before gender: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the evolutionary paradigm of utopia, Bernice L. Hausman; Charlotte Perkins Gilman: forerunner of a feminist social science, Ann Palmeri; Consumption, production, and reproduction in the work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Naomi B. Zauderer; The rhetoricality of economic theory: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Thorstein Veblen, Margaret Lewis and David Sebberson. Part V Women and Work: Excerpts from Home as Work: the First Woman’s Rights Claims Concerning Wives’ Household Labor 1850-1880


    Patricia Lengermann is Research Professor at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Gillian Niebrugge-Brantley is Scholar in Residence at the American University, Washington, D. C. and Professor Emerita at Northern Virginia Community College, USA. The editors have published widely both together as a research team and individually, on sociological theory, especially the work of women writers, and on feminist theory.

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