Symposium at the 2013 Annual Conference of the Social Policy Association to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Richard Titmuss's death.
Symposium at the 2013 Annual Conference of the Social Policy Association to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Richard Titmuss's death.The year 2013 marks the fortieth anniversary of Richard Titmuss's death. Rightly acknowledged as the principal founder of the discipline of social administration/social policy, Titmuss's period as the first Professor of Social Administration in the UK (1950-73), held at the London School of Economics, more or less coincided with the period of the 'classic' welfare state, which functioned in the socio-economic context of full employment, intact families and steady economic growth. Significantly, Titmuss's death (in April 1973) occurred some six months before the OPEC-led oil price rise which was to send shock waves through industrialised economies and usher in a long period of self-doubt and welfare state retrenchment. From his death onwards, the social policy agenda changed markedly.
The symposium offered contrasting perspectives on Titmuss's achievements, not only examining them in the context of 1950-73, but also assessing the relevance of Titmuss's ideas for the very different social and economic circumstances of today.
Chaired by John Macnicol (Visiting Professor in the Department of Social Policy), the main presenters were Ann Oakley (Professor at the Institute of Education on 'Time Remembered: the Legend and the Legacy of Richard Titmuss'; Adrian Sinfield (Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh) on 'Why Do We Need to Keep Reading Titmuss?'; and Robyn Rowe (PhD student at LSE) on 'Titmuss and the Dilemmas of Benefits for Women'