Education, Experience, and Exchange: The Hull House Women, an International Network, and Chicago’s Immigrant Population
Keywords:international network, women, Hull House, immigrants, community service
This paper explores the creation and purpose of Chicago’s Hull House. It provides an overview of volunteer work by women in the US and addresses the European influence on Jane Addams’s idea for Hull House and the various educational aspects and approaches used by the Hull House educators.
Founded, funded, and administered by women, the Hull House settlement is shown as a prime example of the nascent spirit of American volunteerism that epitomized that era. Women were able to participate in the settlement because of the evolving perception of their role in society. It was possible to devote one’s life to charity and not to marriage and child-raising. The force of the Hull House residents was to combine their individual skills and strengths to work as a united group of very dynamic and talented women. Education, experience, and exchange were the three pillars of their very successful settlement home. In their efforts to reform and better the living conditions in the rundown Chicago neighborhood, the Hull House women became involved in politics and policymaking. Thereby, they began to have a voice which became louder and louder and could not be silenced.
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