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Thomas H. Marshall

(1893—1982) sociologist


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(1893–1982)

An English sociologist and professor of sociology at the London School of Economics. He is best-known for his theory of citizenship, developed from the ideas of his colleague Hobhouse. He argued (in Class, Citizenship and Social Development, 1963) that citizenship has expanded from legal rights (such as a fair trial) in the 18th century, to political rights (such as voting) in the 19th century, to welfare rights (such as social security payments) in the 20th century. These rights were institutionalized in law courts, parliament, and the welfare state. He developed the notion that modern societies are ‘hyphenated societies’ in The Right to Welfare and Other Essays (1981), because they are organized around the conflicting principles of welfare, class, and democracy. He also wrote an influential study of social policy (Social Policy in the 20th Century, 1965). His concept of citizenship continues to be influential although it has been criticized. For example, he neglected the idea of industrial democracy as a further stage in the development of citizenship rights. His account is also said to be Anglocentric and evolutionist (see M. Mann, ‘Ruling Class Strategies and Citizenship’, Sociology, 1987). His ideas exerted a significant influence on the work of numerous distinguished sociologists, including (in the United States) Robert Merton, S. M. Lipset, and Reinhard Bendix; and (in Britain) Ralf Dahrendorf, A. H. Halsey, David Lockwood, and Lydia Morris.

Subjects: Sociology.


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