Chapter

The making of a pioneer researcher: reflections from Peter Townsend’s life story

Paul Thompson

in Fighting poverty, inequality and injustice

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9781847427151
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302353 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427151.003.0002
The making of a pioneer researcher: reflections from Peter Townsend’s life story

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This chapter draws on over 17 hours of interviews conducted with Peter between 1997 and 1999. It reveals clear links between Peter's childhood and education and the kind of sociologist Peter Townsend became and the work undertaken. It observes that the ‘unusual coherence’ in the interviews, which requires only ‘careful punctuation’, is also indicative of Peter's incisive thinking and clarity of expression, which is reflected in the quality of his writing, which led to an example of the work used in an exam for French students studying English. Through Peter's own words, this chapter highlights the combination of high research standards with empathy and passion which drove Peter's work forwards.

Keywords: interviews; childhood; education; sociologist; French students; English; high research standards; empathy and passion

Chapter.  9762 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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