Research paper on Harriet Marineau

North Central State College
Socy1010 M. Puckett


Harriet Martineau from 1802-1876. She was the first women sociologist. She wrote many books and articles on her studies.
Research paper on Harriet Marineau

Harriet Marineau was born June 12th 1802 in Norwich, she was six of eight children he parents Thomas and Elizabeth had. They were considered one of the first families of Norwich. Thomas was a manufacturer of textiles and an importer of wine in the old cathedral city of Norwich. Elizabeth was a very intelligent woman with very little educational background. Harriet was taught at home by her older siblings and tutors also having some education that was normally only taught to males because university was not offered to women at this time. By the age sixteen she was deaf and sent to live with her aunt and uncle also said she did not have a sense of taste or smell.
Being the first woman of sociology Harriet had wrote over fifty books and published almost two thousand articles. Her writing career stated in 1931 writing multiple stories trying to educate people about the principles of economics. Marineau took Auguste Comtes’ (The Father of Sociology) writings translating them from French to English to show to English speaking students. She agreed with the ideas that Comte had and his theories. Martineau created the idea science of society when she came to America after two years of study and these new ideas are best reflected in her two works “Society in America” and “How to observe moral and manners”.
She examined social class, religion, suicide, national character, domestic relations, women’s status, criminology and interactions between institutions and individuals.
Martineau was forced to take up writing as a career in order to earn a living. However, her clear and simple style and her ability to explain complicated issues in ways which ordinary people could understand, gave her a wide range of readers and also made her a wealthy woman.
She had work that was present in the tradition of feminist sociology and was comprised of four parts, a gendered standpoint, a focus on women’s lives and work, an exploration of domination and inequality and differences among women and a commitment to changing the world. Her findings in her sociology is both reflected in her beliefs and her writings. She wrote with a consciousness of gender and focused on women’s place in society and their significance. Harriet explained the difficult ideas of others and herself by creating interesting stories and settings for the concepts. Her short stories became popular and helped with the understanding of social ideas. For example she like to teach young people about tariffs, taxes and state budget. Also studying the morals and manners of and in the society in America
Martineau was one of the first to write about women’s roles and rights in society and was a lifelong feminist. She also campaigned for active education for all women and all women to be equal to men. Thinking that employment should be open to women and men the same, women voting and being able to own their own property she strived for equality. Later on in life 1876 she had passed away of bronchitis and had already wrote her obituary twenty five years prior to passing. She could see other people's views and was too good at doing so and she had a strong opinion of her own that she could make them understood. She liver her life was to do this, as it was done honestly. Her duties and her business were sufficient for the peace and the desires of her mind. She saw the human race, as she believed in advancing she enjoyed her share of the experience. She learned a lot in her early years to push her to where she ended in life.


Hill, M. R.
Women In Sociology "Harriet Martineau" p. 289-297
Chapman, M. W. (Ed.)
Harriet Martineau's Autobiography Boston, James Osgood, 1877.
Pichanick, Valerie K. (1980).
Harriet Martineau, The Woman and Her Work, 1802-76. University of Michigan Press.