Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw's memories of the emergence of SPRU

As part of the celebrations for the University of York's 50th Anniversary year,  Professor Jonathan Bradshaw has taken part in the oral history project to record the origins of SPRU, as well as the many other highlights of his long and illustrious career as a social policy researcher. Follow this link to hear his recollections of academic life in York and the main themes of his career: child poverty, welfare rights, social policy.


A brief retrospective of Jonathan's work is also available from the 50th Anniversary website, starting from a stall in York market giving out benefits advice, to receiving a CBE for his services to child poverty and his work on measuring the subjective well-being of children. As Jonathan recounts his research on minimum incomes has links back to an illustrious forebear who operated here in York in Victorian times:

“When social reformer Seebohm Rowntree carried out his first study of poverty in York, he used the cost of a basket of goods as measurement of the minimum income required. With the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, we adapted and refined this method to develop a minimum income standard which went on to inform the campaign for a living wage, as opposed to a minimum wage”.