Addams Approach To Social Change

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Abstract The following paper summarizes three philosophical approaches towards social change. Addams’ philosophy of implementing an active democratic process in her work at Hull House is explored. Her research involved combining natural observation and structural analysis to gain a better understanding of diverse populations, oppression, and social issues. Richmond’s philosophy on the importance of determining social diagnosis through systematic research is examined. Her research involved addressing all social systems that affect life problems and behaviors along with emphasizing the role of family as the driving force for creating and maintaining change. Wells-Barnett’s philosophy of empowering African Americans through investigation and reporting on various acts of discrimination and inequality are explored. She believed that by educating the public and bringing awareness to acts of oppression, it would initiate a social…show more content…
Here, Addams stressed the importance of developing social morality, expanding human experiences thus resulting in sympathy and understanding for others, and establishing a true democracy by dismantling cultural and social barriers (Hamington, 2004). An overall goal of the Hull House was to expand the narrow bounds of class, culture, and education in order to direct change. In order to experience and learn the viewpoints of marginalized society, Addams immersed herself in diverse racial and cultural groups by living alongside them. Furthermore, she hoped to better understand the specific challenges they faced in order to give a voice to their oppression and social injustices. Rather than arriving at universal truths, Addams repeatedly strove to give recognition to the unique experiences of the oppressed individuals. This was an effort to give them a voice for their concerns to be acknowledged in the social democracy she was trying to
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