Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Hill, Michael R. and Mary Jo Deegan. 1991. “Hattie Plum Williams (1878-1963).” Pp. 440-448 in Women in Sociology: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook, edited by Mary Jo Deegan. New York: Greenwood Press.


Copyright 1991 Michael R. Hill and Mary Jo Deegan


The professional life of Hattie Plum Williams unfolded on the geographically isolated Great Plains of eastern Nebraska. She is the first woman known to chair a coeducational, doctoral department of sociology, and as the author of major studies on Russian German immigrants, she made significant disciplinary contributions to sociology. As a woman caught between changing definitions of the division of labor in sociology during the 1920s, she often is characterized as a social worker, although her professional allegiance remained to sociology. Williams epitomized the first generation of professional women sociologists on the Great Plains.