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Jane Addams

Date de naissance: 6. septembre 1860
Date de décès: 21. mai 1935

Jane Addams est une pionnière américaine, réformatrice et activiste, philosophe, sociologue, écrivaine, impliquée dans des causes telles que le droit de vote des femmes et la paix dans le monde. À une époque où des présidents comme Theodore Roosevelt et Woodrow Wilson se déclarent eux-mêmes réformateurs et activistes sociaux, Addams est une réformatrice éminente de l’ère progressiste. Elle a aidé l'Amérique à s'intéresser et à se concentrer sur des sujets relatifs à la maternité, comme les services nécessaires aux enfants, les conditions d'hygiène dans les milieux les plus défavorisés, ou encore la paix dans le monde. Elle déclara que si les femmes devaient être responsables de la sécurité de leur foyer, elles avaient besoin de voter pour être plus efficaces. Addams devient un modèle pour les femmes de la classe moyenne souhaitant améliorer les conditions de vie de leur foyer. Elle est de plus en plus reconnue comme membre du pragmatisme. En 1889, elle cofonde la Hull House, le premier centre d'œuvres sociales aux États-Unis, et en 1920, l'Union Américaine pour les Libertés Civiles . En 1931, elle devient la première femme américaine titulaire du prix Nobel de la paix et est reconnue comme la fondatrice du métier de travailleur social aux États-Unis. Wikipedia

Citations Jane Addams

„These young men and women, longing to socialize their democracy, are animated by certain hopes which may be thus loosely formulated; that if in a democratic country nothing can be permanently achieved save through the masses of the people, it will be impossible to establish a higher political life than the people themselves crave; that it is difficult to see how the notion of a higher civic life can be fostered save through common intercourse; that the blessings which we associate with a life of refinement and cultivation can be made universal and must be made universal if they are to be permanent; that the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.“

—  Jane Addams

"The Subjective Necessity for Social Settlements" http://www.infed.org/archives/e-texts/addams6.htm; this piece by Jane Addams was first published in 1892 and later appeared as chapter six of Twenty Years at Hull House (1910)
Contexte: These young people accomplish little toward the solution of this social problem, and bear the brunt of being cultivated into unnourished, oversensitive lives. They have been shut off from the common labor by which they live which is a great source of moral and physical health. They feel a fatal want of harmony between their theory and their lives, a lack of coördination between thought and action. I think it is hard for us to realize how seriously many of them are taking to the notion of human brotherhood, how eagerly they long to give tangible expression to the democratic ideal. These young men and women, longing to socialize their democracy, are animated by certain hopes which may be thus loosely formulated; that if in a democratic country nothing can be permanently achieved save through the masses of the people, it will be impossible to establish a higher political life than the people themselves crave; that it is difficult to see how the notion of a higher civic life can be fostered save through common intercourse; that the blessings which we associate with a life of refinement and cultivation can be made universal and must be made universal if they are to be permanent; that the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

„What after all, has maintained the human race on this old globe despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not faith in new possibilities, and courage to advocate them.“

—  Jane Addams, livre Peace and Bread in Time of War

Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922), Chapter 7 : Personal Reactions During War
Contexte: What after all, has maintained the human race on this old globe despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not faith in new possibilities, and courage to advocate them. Doubtless many times these new possibilities were declared by a man who, quite unconscious of courage, bore the "sense of being an exile, a condemned criminal, a fugitive from mankind." Did every one so feel who, in order to travel on his own proper path had been obliged to leave the traditional highway?

„That which may have sounded like righteous teaching when it was remote and wordy, will be challenged afresh when it is obliged to simulate life itself.“

—  Jane Addams

Source: Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910), Ch. 16
Contexte: I have come to believe … that the stage may do more than teach, that much of our current moral instruction will not endure the test of being cast into a lifelike mold, and when presented in dramatic form will reveal itself as platitudinous and effete. That which may have sounded like righteous teaching when it was remote and wordy, will be challenged afresh when it is obliged to simulate life itself.

„In his own way each man must struggle, lest the moral law become a far-off abstraction utterly separated from his active life.“

—  Jane Addams

As quoted in The MacMillan Dictionary of Quotations (1989) by John Daintith, Hazel Egerton, Rosalind Ferguson, Anne Stibbs and Edmund Wright, p. 374.

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