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Processes of Invisibility: Case Studies of Women in Sociology

Mary Jo Deegan (Jane Addams Research Center, USA)

Gender Visibility and Erasure

ISBN: 978-1-80382-594-6, eISBN: 978-1-80382-593-9

ISSN: 1529-2126

Publication date: 15 August 2022


Few scholars become notable figures in their areas of specialization. Understanding how and why some scholars are identified by their unusual accomplishments, therefore, can be difficult, especially when some scholars achieve more notable careers and are invisible in their professions than others, more recognized colleagues. The reasons for some scholars’ visibility and their colleagues’ invisibility may be unclear or ambiguous. One common reason for invisibility is being a woman in a patriarchal discipline. Men’s ideas, values, and careers are privileged and more highly rated in a patriarchal subject like sociology.

Here, I analyze case studies of invisibility that emerge from deliberate suppression but focus on the more hidden processes of making women invisible in sociology. These less overt processes of invisibility require different theories, networks, and methods to discover the women’s notable careers than those used in examples of more overt processes.

Making invisible women visible requires multiple processes, over time, by a number of professionals and gatekeepers.



Deegan, M.J. (2022), "Processes of Invisibility: Case Studies of Women in Sociology", Segal, M.T. and Demos, V. (Ed.) Gender Visibility and Erasure (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 33), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 15-30.



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