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Analysing 'The Social Services': Richard Titmuss and the James Seth Memorial lecture, University of Edinburgh, 1955

Analysing 'The Social Services': Richard Titmuss and the James Seth Memorial lecture, University of Edinburgh, 1955
Speaker: John Stewart # Glasgow Caledonian University
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Date and Time
17th May 2018 13:00 - 17th May 2018 15:00
Chrystal Macmillan Staff Room, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD

In 1955 Richard Titmuss, first Professor of Social Administration at the London School of Economics, delivered a speech, 'The Social Services', as his contribution to the University of Edinburgh's prestigious James Seth Memorial Lecture series. This was one of several important public addresses Titmuss gave in the 1950s. He used those to articulate his philosophy of welfare, later to be called the 'Titmuss paradigm', some of whose key components were the need to reduce inequalities, a non-judgemental approach to the users of social services, and scepticism about the powers of 'welfare professionals'. Crucially, for Titmuss, social policy should have a moral basis, with the ultimate aim of promoting social cohesion and social solidarity. This talk uses the James Seth lecture to explore these ideas further and what, if anything, Titmuss has to say to us in the early twenty-first century.

Speaker: John Stewart, Emeritus Professor of the History of Healthcare, Glasgow Caledonian University

John Stewart is Emeritus Professor of the History of Health Care, Glasgow Caledonian University. He has written extensively on the history of social welfare in modern Britain, with articles in journals such as English Historical ReviewBritish Journal for the History of ScienceScottish Historical Review, and Twentieth Century British History. His most recent book is entitled Child Guidance in Britain, 1918-1955: The Dangerous Age of Childhood(London, 2013). Stewart is presently writing the biography of the social policy academic Richard Titmuss, supported by the Brian Abel-Smith Foundation Fund at the LSE and to be published in 2020 by Policy Press.


The lecture will be held in the Staff Room at the Chrystal Macmillan Building, George Square

The talk will be followed by a short reception, which everyone is welcome to attend.

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