Chapter

Peter Townsend, 1928–

Bob Holman

in Champions for children

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9781861343536
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301653 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861343536.003.0006
Peter Townsend, 1928–

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Peter Townsend was Britain's leading poverty researcher and campaigner against child poverty, known for his involvement with social work. In 1939, at age eleven, he passed the scholarship to the prestigious University College School, one of the few schools to remain open in London during World War II. In 1948, Townsend took up a place at St John's College of the University of Cambridge, where he studied philosophy and social anthropology. In 1954, he accepted a post as a research officer at the Institute for Community Studies, which had been founded in East London by Michael Young. Townsend's particular study concerned the pattern of life among older people in the area. He was appointed to the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1957 as a research fellow and subsequently as a lecturer. In 1963, Townsend was appointed Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex. Six years later, he was elected chair of the Child Poverty Action Group. Townsend was a long-time member and supporter of the Labour Party.

Keywords: Peter Townsend; Britain; poverty; social work; St John's College; LSE; University of Essex; child poverty; Labour Party

Chapter.  12363 words.  Illustrated.

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