Sociological Methods Of Harriett Martineau's Contribution To Sociology

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Group B Question 4 Harriett Martineau can be considered the first sociologist, she not only influenced Marx’s work on the political economy, but brought positivism to the English speaking world. Martineau was the first to collect data through observation, and speak for and to the people. Martineau 's reflections on Society in America, are prime examples of her sociological methods. Her ideas in this field were set out in her book How to Observe Morals and Manners. She believed that some very general social laws influence the life of any society. Martineau’s main contribution to sociology was her claim that when studying society, one has to focus on all aspects of it. She emphasized the importance of examining political, religious, and social institutions. Martineau believed that by studying society in this way, one could infer why inequality existed. She also was the first to create a systematic method of qualitative data; through observation. Using qualitative data is tremendously important because one is able to examine complex questions that can be difficult with quantitative methods, it also allows…show more content…
Harriet had the gift of explaining difficult ideas. She wanted people specifically the working class to be aware of their situation, to gain consciousness, by educating them through her writings, as explained through this quote, “The other method by which I propose to lessen my own responsibility, is to enable my readers to judge for themselves, better than I can for them, what my testimony is worth. For this purpose I offer a brief account of my travels…” (Martineau 53). Martineau describes the inequality she witnesses here in the United States, going on to write about how women in slavery. She recounts a meeting with a white woman who sold a black woman for 1,500 dollars, Martineau was the first to focus attention on issues relevant to Americans in my

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