A group of leading York-based researchers have joined forces in an attempt to identify and catalogue the increasing number of social studies experiments carried out in the city over the past century.
The University of York and several other major researchers believe that this new archive of data will act as a useful resource and draw attention to the city’s important role in the development of international social and urban research.
In 1901 sociological researcher Seebohm Rowntree published Poverty: A Study of Town Life highlighting the nature of poverty in York at the start of the 20th Century, also coining the phrase ‘poverty line’ being the first sociological research to use such term.
This research has since gone on to highly influence key social questions today becoming the basis for many other methods and techniques of social research to provide a better understanding of the places we live. The pioneering work of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation will also be celebrated this Saturday 30th June, at the York Festival of Ideas’ Architecture Day, commemorating the introduction and development of social housing. The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust was set up in 1904 carrying out housing and care schemes in York and elsewhere in Yorkshire. These are of an innovative nature, demonstrating news forms of tenure, meeting special needs, creating strong self governing communities and exploring new features of design.
“The legacy of early pioneers like Rowntree, who used York as a kind of social laboratory, digging beneath the public image of the city to reveal a range of social problems, has been influential in the development of social policy interventions and the honing of methods and techniques of social and urban analysis.”-Dr Rowland Atkinson
The key researchers are working on contacting the key staff across the city’s civic and educational library and archive resources to seek support in identifying this literature. Anyone who can help with identifying social studies which have used York, contact Dr Rowland Atkinson or phone 01904 324742