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A Critical Woman: Barbara Wootton, Social Science and Public Policy in the Twentieth Century [Hardcover]

Ann Oakley

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Book Description

1 May 2011
Barbara Wootton was one of the extraordinary public figures of the twentieth century. She was an outstanding social scientist, an architect of the welfare state, an iconoclast who challenged conventional wisdoms and the first woman to sit on the Woolsack in the House of Lords. Ann Oakley has written a fascinating and highly readable account of the life and work of this singular woman, but the book goes much further. It is an engaged account of the making of British social policy at a critical period seen through the lens of the life and work of a pivotal figure. Oakley tells a story about the intersections of the public and the private and about the way her subject's life unfolded within, was shaped by, and helped to shape a particular social and intellectual context.


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'(Barbara Wootton) was a woman - a person - ahead of her time, critical in both senses of that word; both important and a source of acute commentary on many of those customs and arrangements that deeply affect all our lives.'
--New Humanist (May 2011)

About the Author

Ann Oakley is a leading British sociologist and writer. She is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the Institute of Education, University of London, where she set up the Social Science Research Unit and the EPPI-Centre, an enterprise devoted to making social research useful to policy-makers. She is the author of many books. Her non-fiction includes The Sociology of Housework (1974), Becoming A Mother (1979), Experiments in Knowing (2000) and Gender on Planet Earth (2002). Among her novels are A Proper Holiday (1996), Overheads (1999), and The Men's Room (1988), which was made into a BBC TV series.

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