Jane Addams’ Social Vision: Revisiting the Gospel of Individualism and Solidarity

Jane Addams’ Social Vision: Revisiting the Gospel of Individualism and Solidarity Designated an early pragmatist, Jane Addams has significantly inspired contemporary pragmatist research. However, Addams also consistently articulated ideas harking to primordial Christianity and sought inspiration in the social gospel of her time. This article explores how Addams’ writing resonated with key tenets of social gospel theology, which imbued her texts with an overarching vision of humanity’s progressive history. It is suggested that Addams’ vision of a major transition in industrial society, one involving a “Christian renaissance” and individuals’ transformation into “socialized selves”, constitutes a political eschatology. Of particular interest is how Addams conceived the relationship between the individual and society, inventing the term “new social ethics” to reconcile the difficult balance between individual autonomy and social solidarity. The article suggests some ways in which Addams’ writings relate to contemporary issues such as individualism, neo-conservatism, and militarism. Her social thought constitutes a thus far under-examined source of sociological critique in regard to such issues of public concern. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The American Sociologist Springer Journals

Jane Addams’ Social Vision: Revisiting the Gospel of Individualism and Solidarity

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Social Sciences; Sociology, general; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0003-1232
eISSN
1936-4784
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12108-018-9369-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Designated an early pragmatist, Jane Addams has significantly inspired contemporary pragmatist research. However, Addams also consistently articulated ideas harking to primordial Christianity and sought inspiration in the social gospel of her time. This article explores how Addams’ writing resonated with key tenets of social gospel theology, which imbued her texts with an overarching vision of humanity’s progressive history. It is suggested that Addams’ vision of a major transition in industrial society, one involving a “Christian renaissance” and individuals’ transformation into “socialized selves”, constitutes a political eschatology. Of particular interest is how Addams conceived the relationship between the individual and society, inventing the term “new social ethics” to reconcile the difficult balance between individual autonomy and social solidarity. The article suggests some ways in which Addams’ writings relate to contemporary issues such as individualism, neo-conservatism, and militarism. Her social thought constitutes a thus far under-examined source of sociological critique in regard to such issues of public concern.

Journal

The American SociologistSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 17, 2018

References

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