6) The Social Construction of History. How has male privilege influenced our shared narrative about the discipline of sociology? What do you think the core theory textbooks would look like if they equitably reflected all who were ‘present at the creation’?
Male privilege in my opinion has entirely effected the shared narrative of the discipline of sociology. As a primary example ask anyone to name famous sociologist and their initial examples will most probably include Durkheim, Marx, Comte, Weber, and Burke. All men. Male privilege can be described in a multitude of ways. Initially only very few women were allowed to attend schools and it was almost exclusively men who attended universities. Women were not granted the privilege of voting, owning land or in many cases having their own bank accounts. Women were raised to be depended on men. Women were groomed to be fragile creatures whose main objective was to find a wealthy man to marry them and provide for them. Women have only recently strayed from the label of the ‘less-than-being.’ As Lengermann and Niebrugge detailed women have always had weak hold on authority in our culture that is man-made.
In lecture and L&N’s introductory chapter it was made very apparent that women have been written out of the sociological cannon although they have been involved in sociology and making important contributions since the get go. The significance of this indicates that the ‘less-than-beings’ cognitions and ideas were not good enough to remain in scholarly texts because women wrote them despite their working along side of many of the ‘founders’ of sociology. Women have always been creatures capable of complex sociological thinking and did not emerge suddenly with cognitive capabilities. Women have always been capable of thinking ‘abstractly and as conceptually as men.’ This pushes further the point that sociological ideas proposed by women were set aside and ignored despite women like Jane Addams who worked along side men sociologists. Because men have some sort of privilege they became the forerunners in sociology when it emerged as an academic field. Women sociologists were present at this time, their work taken into account but somewhere along the line it began actively being written out. Instead of being invisible from the start women began with some sort of authority in the sociology but then were striped of their status and actually removed from the social cannon. Being no present in the actual text that people learn about sociology from just further marginalizes women as non-significant in the field.
Had women who were present at the creation of sociology as a discipline not been pushed out of social significance within sociology our sociology textbooks would look very different. Instead of being comprised of majorly dead white European men the texts would also be filled with the thoughts, ideas and writings of women. Women in sociology text books today are few and far between but had all who were present for the beginning of sociology been equitably reflected in the core textbooks they would be comprised of a much more equal proportion of men to women.
Lengermann, P. M., & Niebrugge, G. (1998). The women founders sociology and social theory 1830-1930 a text/reader. Waveland Press Inc.