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Science, Reform, and Politics in Victorian Britain : The Social Science Association 1857-1886 - Lawrence Goldman

Science, Reform, and Politics in Victorian Britain

The Social Science Association 1857-1886

Hardcover Published: 1st July 2002
ISBN: 9780521330534
Number Of Pages: 448

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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.

Industry Reviews

'... 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
"...extremely well-informed...He has successfully synthesized a huge amount of information and made a very useful contribution to the history of the Victorian public sphere." Thomas William Heyck, Northwestern University, Historian
"...magnificent in scope and relentlessly revealing about mid-Victorian culture, society, and politics. [Goldman] achieves the highest standards of scholarship and historical writing." Albion
"Goldman's research is impressive. A must read for advanced students of Victorian Britain. Essential." Choice
"Valuable." Victorian Studies
"Goldman brings together a range of arguments in favor of thinking more broadly about the nature and context of the British state between 1860 and 1880 and in ways beyond the purview of the SSA." American Historical Review
"Goldman's is a book of ambitious scope. He largely makes good on his ambitions." Victorian Studies
"Goldman demonstrates how the SSA was a crucial step in the development of the modern administrative state founded on professionalism, administrative expertise, and an apeal to scientific knowledge. These larger themes make this book of interest not only to historians of the social sciences, public health, and medicine but to all historians of nineteenth-century Britain as well as those concerned with the origins of the modern state." Journal of the History of Medicine
"Goldman has written an admittedly 'messy' book (345). For this he should be commended. His is the first full-scale history of the Bristish Social Science Association (SSA)--but it is more than just that. In Goldman's hands the SSA becomes 'a window through which to observe the mid-Victorian generation and...an opportunity to generalise about the age as a whole'. As a result this, also is a wide-ranging study of politics, administration, gender, class, and ideas in nineteenth-century Britain. It is complexed and nuanced--hence the messiness--and makes some suggestive comparisons with Germany and the United States." Journal of Modern History
"The book is impressively thorough in its attention to both historiographical context and Victorian context." Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences

List of illustrations
Note on citations in the text
List of abbreviations
Introduction: the contexts of the Social Science Association
The origins of the Social Science Association: legal reform, the reformation of juveniles, and the property of married women in 'the Age of Equipoise'
The Social Science Association and the structure of mid-Victorian politics
Organising the Social Science Association
Liberalism divided and feminism divided: women and the Social Science Association
Transportation, reformation and convict discipline: the Social Science Association and Victorian penal policy 1853-1871
Victorian socio-medical liberalism: the Social Science Association and state medicine
Labour and capital: the Social Science Association, trade unionism, and industrial harmony
The Social Science Association and middle-class education: secondary schooling, endowments, and professionalism in mid-Victorian England
The Social Science Association and the making of social policy
Social science in domestic context: popular science, sociology, and a 'science of reform'
Social science in comparative international context
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
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521330534
ISBN-10: 052133053X
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 1st July 2002
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 16.0  x 3.5
Weight (kg): 0.82