Small news

Small news

Nothing else has happened on the Olive Schreiner ‘sex book’ front for the last week. It’s difficult to see what else might be done with the evidence that exists, other than to conjecture along the lines sketched out in the two previous weekly blogs.

Letters have been at the back of the mind, but Olive Schreiner has remained at its front, occupying a large chunk of waking minutes and hours and quite a few of sleeping ones as well. This is because a book is now underway, on Schreiner’s relationship to social science, to sociology specifically. No, she never saw herself as a social scientist or sociologist, and offered pertinent criticisms of the academic men she knew, like Herbert Spencer and Karl Pearson, regarding their ‘frozen rationality’ and determined abstraction. Yes, she worked fairly closely with others, including John Atkinson Hobson, and was certainly seen by some people, including Alice Clark, as a contributor to sociological analysis. This latter was written about Woman & Labour, and it will be interesting to explore whether this was a more widespread view among that earlier generation when sociology still strongly existed outside the academic discipline as well as inside its growing institutionalised form.

Last updated: 16 October 2020


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