Author(s): Jan E. Thomas and Annis KukulanWhy do women theorists only appear in

Author(s): Jan E. Thomas and Annis Kukulan 

Why do women theorists only appear in

a box, sidebar or as selected “others” in intro and theory books?

Is it because of the training of theory instructors?

collected 108 sociology theory syllabi from 40 graduate schools

focused on “classical” theory syllabi.

Findings: Our findings indicate that Marx, Weber, and Durkheim still dominate classical theory syllabi. Marx, Weber, Durkheim most cited theorists, 56% of citations. The writings of women were assigned on 17 percent of the syllabi in our sample. We believe this indicates a weak but visible indication that the diffusion of their work has begun

it is not bc texts by and about these women is unavailable

graduate level theory courses are mostly taught by male instructors. 37 out of 46 courses were taught by men 

instructors teach based on what they have been taught in their theory classes (255). Since the “holy trinity” are still being taught in theory classes that perpetuates the same cycle.

**Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells only on ONE syllabus and either 1/4 or 1/2 of the week spent on them. (258)

Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells were included on the same ONE syllabus

Harriet Martineau assigned on two syllabi, Hannah Arendt on two syllabi 259

**even when grad students read the works of early women sociologists they still don’t think of them as particularly influential thinkers bc of the way that the women are presented in assignments, discussions, papers (260)

Ch. 1 Telling Stories: Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s Southern Horrors

In Southern Horrors, Wells shows that the narrative fueling mob violence conveniently keeps women – all women -silent and powerless. Wells speaks not just about white women but TO them as well. lynching under the guise of ‘defending the honor of white women’ is an act of GENDER as well as racial oppression.

lynching myth depends upon the silence of the women it claims to serve (41)

this story is 1/2 way through Southern Horrors, Ida B. Wells shows how white masculine power requires white women’s silence. When Sarah Clark tries to say “I’m not the kind of white woman you are talking about” the court silences her and says YES YOU ARE. (42)

if white women had darker babies and they did not cry rape, they were not true women, “true womanhood” was white womanhood

black woman raped by white men w/o punishment while black men who have consensual sex with white women are lynched. (44)

Ida B. Wells provides mult. examples of how black girls raped w/ impunity. Bc motivation for lynching was not truly to punish rapists, it ws to maintain the racial order and argument used was about “preserving white women’s purity” (but keeping white women silent) 45

Ida B. Wells using the term “outraged” to refer to rape of black girls by white men. She uses this term purposefully to critique the typical (and “common sense” use of the term to refer to black men “raping” white women, when it is actually consensual) 45


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