The Centenary book

Social enquiry, social reform and social action: One hundred years of Barnett House

With research funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the book by George Smith, Elizabeth Peretz and Teresa Smith, entitled Social enquiry, social reform and social action: One hundred years of Barnett House was published to mark the department's centenary.

It tells the story of Barnett House, opened in 1914 in Oxford as a 'civic house' to combine social enquiry, policy debate and social action. In 1946 it became a full part of the University of Oxford, now the Department of Social Policy and Intervention.

About the authors

George Smith has been a graduate student, researcher, university lecturer and head of department at Barnett House. For fifteen years he was adviser on educational research to HM Inspectorate of Schools and Ofsted in London.

Elizabeth Peretz is currently a research associate at Barnett House and historian of UK interwar health and welfare services. She has been a social care lecturer, and for thirty years a manager, planner and commissioner in local social care and health services in Oxfordshire and Slough.

Teresa Smith has been graduate student, action-researcher, university lecturer and head of department at Barnett House. she was chair of the University's Social Studies Board in the 1990s and an Oxfordshire county councillor from 1986 to 1993.

Sir Brian Harrison, author of the latest volume (1914-70) in the History of the University of Oxford (1994) and of The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography from 2000 to 2004 says:

A good history of Barnett House has long been a major gap in writing about Oxford University's history, but also about British history as a whole, because the University deeply influenced twentieth-century British social policy and social studies. With its wide range and analytic approach, this attractive and readable book fully yet concisely satisfies the need.

The book can be purchased online via the University of Oxford online store, or at Blackwells Bookshop, Oxford.