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Wootton, Barbara

Wootton, Barbara (1897–1988) Trained as an economist, later Reader and then Professor of Social Studies at Bedford College (London) and a life peer (from 1958), Barbara Wootton's main contribution was to social policy. She served on numerous public committees, including four Royal Commissions, and wrote extensively on planning, incomes policy, social work, inequality, and delinquency. In The Social Foundations of Wage Policy (1955) she anticipates many sociological criticisms of exclusively economic explanations of inflation. Social Science and Social Pathology (1959), which is perhaps her best-known book, applies utilitarian philosophy and empirical sociology to the enlightened management of society, in the tradition of English ethical socialism.

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