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Science, Reform, and Politics in Victorian Britain
The Social Science Association 1857–1886

  • Date Published: May 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521036511


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About the Authors
  • This book is a study of the relationships between social thought, social policy and politics in Victorian Britain. Goldman focuses on the activity of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, known as the Social Science Association. For three decades this served as a forum for the discussion of Victorian social questions and as an influential adviser to governments, and its history discloses how social policy was made in these years. The Association, which attracted many powerful contributors, including politicians, civil servants, intellectuals and reformers, had influence over policy and legislation on matters as diverse as public health and women's legal and social emancipation. The SSA reveals the complex roots of social science and sociology buried in the non-academic milieu of nineteenth-century reform. And its influence in the United States and Europe allows for a comparative approach to political and intellectual development in this period.

    • Sheds light on a remarkable, representative yet neglected organization in Victorian Britain
    • Explains the development of social policies in the first mature industrial society
    • Examines the origins of academic social science and sociology in relation to nineteenth-century social reform
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… immaculately researched and lively … This study of the life and work of the social Science Association, is more than just and institutional history. It provides a valuable insight into the particular conditions and concerns of mid-Victorian Britain and will undoubtedly prove essential reading for the considerable academic audience on this period.' History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521036511
    • length: 448 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.667kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Note on citations in the text
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction: the contexts of the Social Science Association
    Part I. Politics:
    1. The origins of the Social Science Association: legal reform, the reformation of juveniles, and the property of married women in 'the Age of Equipoise'
    2. The Social Science Association and the structure of mid-Victorian politics
    3. Organising the Social Science Association
    Part II. Reform:
    4. Liberalism divided and feminism divided: women and the Social Science Association
    5. Transportation, reformation and convict discipline: the Social Science Association and Victorian penal policy 1853–71
    6. Victorian socio-medical liberalism: the Social Science Association and state medicine
    7. Labour and capital: the Social Science Association, trade unionism, and industrial harmony
    8. The Social Science Association and middle-class education: secondary schooling, endowments, and professionalism in mid-Victorian England
    9. The Social Science Association and the making of social policy
    Part III. Science:
    10. Social science in domestic context: popular science, sociology, and a 'science of reform'
    11. Social science in comparative international context
    Part IV. Decline:
    12. The decline of the Social Science Association: Liberal division, specialisation, and the end of Equipoise
    Conclusion: the Social Science Association and social knowledge
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    Lawrence Goldman, University of Oxford
    Lawrence Goldman is Lecturer in Modern History at University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Peter's College.

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