Richard Titmuss: Welfare and Society by D. Reisman

By D. Reisman

Richard Titmuss, Professor on the London college of Economics, adviser to governments, prolific writer, used to be instrumental in shaping the recent disciplines of Social coverage and management. He made a precious contribution to social philosophy via his try to combine welfare into its vast social context. during this revised version of his recognized e-book, Professor Reisman is dependent upon the total of Titmuss's paintings, unpublished in addition to released, to provide an explanation for and overview the theories of this provocative yet usually tough writer.

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Extra resources for Richard Titmuss: Welfare and Society

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D. 24 In the social policy field, education can play a vital role in helping to train humane and enlightened social workers and other personnel, and to challenge knee-jerk attitudes and conventions which impede an improvement in service. Such improvement is not just a question of quantity of resources. It is also a question of quality of staff: We know now from experience in Britain that we did not abolish the spirit of the old and hated poor law by enacting new legislation in 1948. The same people – the same administrators and workers – still had to run the hospitals, public assistance offices and welfare services.

The Chair was Titmuss’s first (and only) academic post. Much of the freshness of his work may indeed be due to the fact that he never had to conform to the rigidity of departmental conventional wisdom in order to secure a job or win a promotion. Titmuss was a maverick and an outsider. According to Ann Oakley, he derived great satisfaction from the freedom to trespass which his self-selected multidisciplinarity was able to offer him: ‘His work was always difficult to classify (a fact of which he himself was obstinately proud), and, since he had no professional academic training, he persisted in calling himself a student of society.

In general terms, we may conclude that there are few quantifiable indices of costs and benefits basically qualitative in nature: There are few criteria of success (though there are negative ones in the form of failure) in assessing the performance of social service systems. 36 In such cases success indicators may be impossible to calculate and society may have no choice but to rely on the informed assessment and professional ethic of people who are expert in the field. Value-judgements are inescapable, crude fact-gathering therefore insufficient.

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