Professor Ann Oakley

ann oakley

 

 

 

The partial gaining of the suffrage for women in Britain in 1918 is certainly an event worth celebrating, but we need to remember it is only one moment in a long and continuing struggle.

Biography

Ann Oakley is a writer and a sociologist. She has written both novels and many non-fiction books. Most of her life has been spent working in university research. She is best known for her work on sex and gender, housework, childbirth and feminist social science. Her more recentinterests have focused on evidence-based public policy andmethodologies of research and evaluation, on the sociology of the bodyand on biography and autobiography as forms of life-writing. She is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the UCL Institute of Education, and until January 2005 was Director of the Social Science Research Unit (SSRU) at the Institute, where she also headed the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre). She holds an honorary appointment as a Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford. In 2011 the British Sociological Association gave her one of their first Lifetime achievement Awards for her extraordinary contribution to the history of the development of sociology in Britain. She now works on research part-time, and spends the rest of it writing, wondering what to do about her archives, developing environmentally friendly cleaning products, and spending time with her grandchildren.

A woman who has inspired me

“Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses...reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size. Without that power....the glories of all our wars would be unknown.” - Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

My words to share with others

Gender inequality isn't the main problem. The main problem is the personal, social and environmental destructiveness produced by a society predicated on an institutionalized system of gender inequality which makes men, unless they're very careful, into alienated beasts, and women, if they're honest, into scared outsiders.

My proudest achievement

My proudest achievement is my three children and my five grandchildren. Other than that I am pleased to say that I have spent all my working life trying to understand, through research, and articulate, through writing, how divisive ideological and economic institutions damage both public and personal welfare.

My thoughts on feminism and women’s suffrage

Feminism as a political position is simply a matter of evidence. We live in a patriarchy. This adversely affects women, children and men, but women and children far more than men. The partial gaining of the suffrage for women in Britain in 1918 is certainly an event worth celebrating, but we need to remember it is only one moment in a long and continuing struggle. 

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