social worker, sociologist, philosopher and reformer, known in America
as the "mother of social work". Born in Cedarville, Illinois,
Jane Addams was educated in the United States and Europe, graduating
from the Rockford Female Seminary (now Rockford College) in Rockford,
1889 she and Ellen Gates Starr co-founded Hull House in Chicago,
Illinois, one of the first settlement houses in the United States.
Influenced by Toynbee Hall in the East End of London, settlement
houses provided welfare for a neighborhood's poor and a center
for social reform. At its height, Hull House was visited each
week by around two thousand people. Its facilities included a
night school for adults; kindergarten classes; clubs for older
children; a public kitchen; an art gallery; a coffeehouse; a gymnasium;
a girls club; a swimming pool; a book bindery; a music school;
a drama group; a library; and labor-related divisions.
House also served as a women's sociological institution. Addams
was a friend and colleague to the early members of the Chicago
School of Sociology, influencing their thought through her work
in applied sociology and, in 1893, co-authoring the Hull-House
Maps and Papers that came to define the interests and methodologies
of the School. She worked with George H. Mead on social reform
issues including women's rights and the 1910 Garment Workers'
Strike. Although academic sociologists of the time defined her
work as "social work", Addams did not consider herself
a social worker. She combined the central concepts of symbolic
interactionism with the theories of cultural feminism and pragmatism
to form her sociological ideas. (Deegan, 1988)
had a stellar reputation for her work with Hull House, and was
respected as a committed humanitarian. However, her staunch pacifist
stance on World War I cost her much support, and she was expelled
from the Daughters of the American Revolution for refusing to
back U.S. involvement in that war.
addition to her involvement in the American Anti-Imperialist League
and the American Sociology Association, she was also a formative
member of both the American Civil Liberties Union and the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In
1911 she helped to establish the National Foundation of Settlements
and Neighborhood Centers and became its first president. She was
also a leader in women's suffrage and pacifist movements, and
took part in the creation of the Women's International League
for Peace and Freedom in 1915. In 1931 she was awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize, along with American educator Nicholas Murray Butler.