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Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy

Wendy Chmielewski

Publication Year: 2009

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. In an increasingly interdependent world, Addams's life work offers resources for activists, scholars, policy makers, and theorists alike. 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.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-18

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...

Section I: Addams’s Experimental Method

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1. The Sermon of the Deed: Jane Addams’s Spiritual Evolution

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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...

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2. The Courage of One’s Convictions or the Conviction of One’s Courage? Jane Addams’s Principled Compromises

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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...

Section II: Jane Addams and the Practice of Democratic Citizenship

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3. Jane Addams’s Theory of Cooperation

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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...

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4. A Civic Machinery for Democratic Expression: Jane Addams on Public Administration

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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...

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5. “The Transfigured Few”: Jane Addams, Bessie Abramowitz Hillman, and Immigrant Women Workers in Chicago, 1905–15

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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...

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6. New Politics for New Selves: Jane Addams’s Legacy for Democratic Citizenship in the Twenty-First Century

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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...

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7. Toward a Queer Social Welfare Studies: Unsettling Jane Addams

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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...

Section III: Democratic Cosmopolitanism and Peace

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8. The Conceptual Scaffolding of Newer Ideals of Peace

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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...

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9. A Global “Common Table”: Jane Addams’s Theory of Democratic Cosmopolitanism and World Social Citizenship

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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...

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10. Can Jane Addams Serve as a Role Model for Us Today?

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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...


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pp. 219-222


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pp. 223-230

Production Notes, Back Cover

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pp. 231-233

E-ISBN-13: 9780252091223
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252034060

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 785781178
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Jane Addams and the Practice of Democracy

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Subject Headings

  • Addams, Jane, 1860-1935 -- Congresses.
  • Women social workers -- United States -- Biography -- Congresses.
  • Women social reformers -- United States -- Biography -- Congresses.
  • Democracy -- Congresses.
  • Civil society -- Congresses.
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