Understanding the World We Live in; THE Seething Cauldron of Humanity That Was Victorian Liverpool Spawned a Lasting Academic Legacy That Is Now Celebrating Its Centenary. Peter Elson Reports

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), August 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

Understanding the World We Live in; THE Seething Cauldron of Humanity That Was Victorian Liverpool Spawned a Lasting Academic Legacy That Is Now Celebrating Its Centenary. Peter Elson Reports


Byline: Peter Elson

AS LIVERPOOL rose to become the second city of the British Empire, fortunes were made by many merchants, but millions of other souls suffered crushing poverty and social deprivation.

Others watched this human maelstrom with mounting concern and this provided an impetus for the creation of Liverpool University's Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work Studies, which celebrates its centenary this year.

Now the third oldest such department in Britain, only Manchester University (founded a year earlier)and the London School of Economics, which started in 1902, can claim a longer lineage.

Liverpool, however, was the first to create a chair of social anthropology in 1907.This was initially occupied by James Frazer, the most famous social anthropologist of all, author of The Golden Bough. Frazer remained at Liverpool until 1922, when he moved to Cambridge.

Out of the Unitarian principles that drove Liverpool's merchants also came the humanitarian belief that the fortunate should help those less blessed.

Among these were Eleanor Rathbone (of the Liverpool banking dynasty)and her life-long friend Elizabeth Macadam, who were prominent figures in early social scientific history.

They were both deeply concerned about the extent of poverty in Liverpool. Rathbone, in particular, had a national profile and was one of Britain's first female Members of Parliament.

The department's centenary this year will be marked by a conference on September 8 and 9. The theme will be public function of sociology, showing the department's continual commitment of being rooted in real issues.

It will also feature as a key note speaker Crosby's most famous sociologist Prof Laurie Taylor. Prof Taylor, a writer and regular BBC Radio 4 broadcaster, was formerly head of Sociology at York University.

Prof Gerard Delanty, head of sociology at Liverpool University, says: "The department was set up to train social workers who could tackle the problems of Liverpool's rapid growth in the 19th century.

"Within two years it was reconstructed as a social science department, including lectures on social policy."

The first chair of sociology came from an endowment by another famous Liverpool family. Rich and famous, Charles Booth, owner of the Booth Line, that reached "a 1,000 miles up the Amazon", was a dedicated amateur social scientist of life and labour.

Booth established the tradition of the social survey when he undertook such a study in London, between 1886 and 1893.

The first person appointed to the chair was Alexander Carr-Saunders, who eventually became director of the LSE in 1937.

"The next major phase was in the 1950s when the department became an important centre for industrial sociology and in particular the study of work," says Prof Delanty.

"This was in line with the applied nature of social scientific research in Liverpool and social issues of the industrialised cities."

In 1965 the Eleanor Rathbone chair of sociology was established as an endowment by the Rathbone family and the first incumbent was Prof J B Mays. Now the department has an undergraduate intake of 140 students each year.

Prof Delanty, who has been at the department since 1996, took the chair of sociology two years ago. Originall y from Cork, he had previously lectured in Frankfurt and Hanover. He specialises in social theory and the history of social sciences.

He says: "Since those early years, the department has continued the tradition of critical social research, with a strong emphasis on social policy and applied social science."

Social research has increased with a particular focus on culture and regeneration; and alongside that the department has embarked on crime and social justice studies. It also will offer an MA in criminology from next month.

While the department continues the long tradition of critical social policy research, other concerns have emerged in the light of changes in the discipline of sociology. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Understanding the World We Live in; THE Seething Cauldron of Humanity That Was Victorian Liverpool Spawned a Lasting Academic Legacy That Is Now Celebrating Its Centenary. Peter Elson Reports
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.