Regarded by many as the first female sociologist, Harriet Martineau was a prominent 19th-century social theorist, classical economist, and intellectual who penned the iconic work The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte. She was partially deaf and had lost her sense of taste and smell in childhood.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an American novelist, humanist, poet, and short-story writer. Best remembered as a utopian feminist, Gilman served as an inspiration for several generations of feminists. A National Women's Hall of Fame inductee, Charlotte Perkins Gilman is also remembered for her semi-autobiographical work, The Yellow Wallpaper.
Alva Belmont was an American socialite who played a major role in the women's suffrage movement in the United States of America. Remembered for her intelligence, energy, and strong opinions, Belmont is credited with founding the Political Equality League which aimed at promoting suffrage-supporting politicians. Alva Belmont is also credited with co-founding the National Woman's Party in 1916.
Ruth Benedict was an American folklorist and anthropologist. Benedict, who played an important role in the American Folklore Society, also served as the American Anthropological Association's president; the association gives away an annual prize named after Ruth Benedict. In 2005, she was made an inductee of the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Bulgarian-born French author and literary critic Julia Kristeva is also a professor at the University Paris Diderot. Her writings, such as the Female Genius trilogy, are centered around feminism, semiotics, and psychoanalysis. She has also pioneered semanalysis and has been recognized with honors such as Commander of the Legion of Honor.
Nigerian-born novelist Buchi Emecheta OBE, who was based in the UK since 1962, gained critical-acclaim and recognition for her literary works with themes including child-slavery, female independence, motherhood and freedom through education. Notable works of Emecheta include novels like Second Class Citizen, The Bride Price, The Joys of Motherhood and The Slave Girl. The latter won her Jock Campbell Award.
Carol Gilligan is an American psychologist, ethicist, and feminist. She is renowned for her work on ethical relationships and ethical community. She also serves as a professor of Applied Psychology and Humanities at New York University. Considered the chief architect of the ethics of care, Gilligan was named in the 25 most influential people list by Time magazine in 1996.
Sociologist Beatrice Webb is best remembered for coining the term collective bargaining. Along with her husband, Sidney Webb, whom she met at the Fabian Society, and others, Beatrice co-founded the London School of Economics. In spite of her lack of formal education, she was a prominent educator and an avid diarist.
Apart from being a renowned psychologist, Alice Miller became an international sensation with her debut book, The Drama of the Gifted Child, a bestseller. A Holocaust survivor, who had lost her father in a Jewish ghetto, she analyzed child abuse, including education, violence, and parental abuse.
Apart from teaching sociology at Columbia University and LSE, sociologist Saskia Sassen has also devoted over 3 decades of her life to research. She introduced the term global city. The daughter of a Dutch Nazi journalist, she grew up in Argentina and Italy, before studying in France.
Helene Rytmann was a French sociologist and revolutionary who played an important role in the French Resistance. Widely regarded as a historically important Jewish woman, Helene Rytmann was murdered by her husband Louis Althusser. The case was never properly investigated and the scandal of Rytmann's murder inspired the 2002 novel Shroud which was written by Irish novelist William John Banville.
Alva Myrdal was a Swedish politician, diplomat, and sociologist. She played a major role during the disarmament movement in Sweden, for which she was honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1982. She also chaired the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute after playing a key role in its creation. Throughout her career, Myrdal was honored with many prestigious awards.
Born to German-Jewish immigrants in Argentina, Esther Vilar studied medicine before she moved to Germany to study psychology and sociology. After taking up scores of odd jobs, she soared to international fame with her bestselling book The Manipulated Man, which argues that women aren’t oppressed but control men in relationships.
Emily Greene Balch was an American sociologist, economist, and pacifist. She is best remembered for her work to deal with social issues like child labor, poverty, and immigration. She also worked towards reducing juvenile delinquency and uplifting poor immigrants. In 1946, Emily Greene Balch was honored with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.
Ellen Gates Starr is best remembered for co-establishing the Hull House social settlement in Chicago along with activist Jane Addams. Initially an art student, she later dedicated her life for the betterment of immigrant factory workers and reformation for child labor laws. She later retired to a Roman Catholic convent.