Edward Johns Urwick


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A student of the liberal theorist T. H. Green, along with Bernard and Helen Bosanquet, he worked for the Charity Organisation Society at Toynbee Hall in the East End of London. In 1897 the Society reformed itself as a training body for social workers and took the name ‘School of Ethics and Social Philosophy’, later ‘School of Sociology’. Urwick was appointed as its first director. Financial difficulties led the School to merge with the London School of Economics in 1912, becoming its Department of Social Science and Administration. Urwick was joint Head of Department, along with Hobhouse. Urwick left the LSE in 1924, having been invited by Robert MacIver to join him at Toronto to teach social policy in the Department of Political Science. He set up the Department of Social Service in 1928 and headed this until his retirement in 1937. Early works on youth, delinquency, and wealth were followed by his principal book The Social Good (1927) which was published shortly after he left Britain and set out an evolutionary theory of moral progress and citizenship. He developed an idealist view of society as a system of moral representations.

Subjects: Sociology.

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