Harriet Martineau Essay

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Harriet Martineau

Although we think of sexism as a situation that has been dealt with, we still have much to learn. A key turning point in discrimination against women was the courageous actions of Harriet Martineau. Harriet was born in 1802, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Martineau. She grew up in a home without any encouragement for her education. Instead she was trained, as all other women in her life, to be a homemaker.
However this did not stop her efforts to pursue her dream. Even though she risked exile from her family, friends, and society at whole, Harriet continued her studies of women’s lesser role in the social aspects of life.

Harriet described her childhood as a “burdensome experience” (Household
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Soon after she joined a circle of writers and theologians in London. Working with such famous people as: Charles Babbage, Thomas Carlyle, George Eliot, Florence
Nightingale, Charles Dickens, Thomas Malthaus, William Wodsworth, Charlotte Bronte, and Charles Darwin. As she kept writing she became more respected and her popularity grew quickly.

Harriet first got a large reading public when she popularized classical economics with a series of anecdotes and short stories. She especially focused on the ideas of Thomas Robert Malthus and David Ricardo: Illustrations of Political Economy, 25 vol. (1832-34), Poor Laws and Paupers Illustraed, 10 vol. (1833-34), and Illustrations of Taxation, 5 vol. (1834). After she visited the United States she wrote Society in America (1837), which is her most popular writing used amongst sociologists today, and
Retrospect of Western Travel (1838). She also wrote How to Observe Morals and
Manners (1838), which was another admired writing of hers. “Her writings in How to
Observe Morals and Manners offered a positivist solution to the correspondence problem between intersubjectivity, verifiable observables, and unobservable theoretical issues
(Hill, http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/martineau.html).”

After this she felt she needed to approach the subject of the Abolition Movement and repudiated laissez-faire economics favoring a more
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