Sustaining Tradition and Making a Difference: Jane Addams’s Writing on Memory

Barbara A. Misztal


The aim of the paper is to present a largely present unknown contribution of Jane Addams, one of America’s first female sociologists and the first American women to receive the Nobel Prize, to sociology of memory. It analyses Addams’s book The Long Road of Woman’s Memory (1917) where she directly addressed the issues of memory, its functions and the links between memory and emotions. In this work, Addams aimed to show how memory raises consciousness, restores dignity and gives life meaning. Addams’s pioneering thinking about a power inherent in memory, brings to our attention the dual role memory as a reconciler to life and as a motor of change. Such an understanding of memory’s power can be interpreted as the conceptualization of memory as a means of the sustaining tradition and making a difference. 

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Copyright (c) 2014 Barbara A. Misztal

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Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

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