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Family, community and politics: the fertile legacy of Michael Young

Family, community and politics: the fertile legacy of Michael Young

Dench, Geoff (2008) Family, community and politics: the fertile legacy of Michael Young. Critical Social Policy, 28 (3). pp. 335-348. ISSN 0261-0183 (doi:

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The Institute of Community Studies was set up by Michael Young in order to carry out research on politically relevant social issues, in a context free from direct political control. A research method was devised for it whereby researchers made their own values and objectives very explicit, while staying as close as possible in their reports to the concerns and language of respondents themselves. This method has often been criticized by professional sociologists: but it reflects quite well the nature of social knowledge. It has produced reports which help to increase public understanding of social processes, and provide useful guidance to policy makers. Professional sociology on the other hand has tried to develop a
rigorously value-free method. As a result, though, it often seems to be tied implicitly to values shared among researchers but not more universally. Arguably this makes it harder for the general public to understand,
and accept, its findings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bethnal Green, community studies, East End, meritocracy, professionalization, research methods, sociology,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Social, Political & Cultural Studies
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:04
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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