Harriet Martineau' (12 June 1802 – 27 June 1876) was an English social theorist and Whig writer, often cited as the first female sociologist.
Martineau wrote only one book but multitude of essays from a sociological, holistic, religious, domestic, and, perhaps most controversial, sexual identity, a feminine perspective; she also translated various works from Auguste Comte. She earned enough to be supported entirely by her writing, a challenging feat for a woman in the Victorian era. Martineau has said of her approach: "when one studies a society, one must focus on all its aspects, including key political, religious, and social institutions". She believed a thorough societal analysis was necessary to understand woman's status under men.