“Addams, Jane: (1860-1935) Addams was an American sociologist of central importance to the work of the Chicago School in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A powerful influence on many other women in sociology, such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Emily Greene Balch, in 1889 she set up a social settlement in Chicago, Hull House, which was partly inspired by London’s Toynbee Hall, but more woman-influenced, more egalitarian, and less religious. She argued that one of the main problems for women was trying to manage the conflicting demands of family and society, and believed social settlements were one way to resolve the problem. Hull House was an important sociological center for the University of Chicago, and also attracted other leading social theorists, Marxists, anarchists, and socialists of the time. A spokeswoman for women and working-class immigrants in particular, Addams was a cultural feminist who believed female values were inherently superior to those of men, and argued that a more productive and more peaceful society could be built by drawing on, and integrating, such values. Her commitment to pacifism made her a social pariah during the First World War, although in 1931 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Excerpted from: Marshall, Gordon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.