Titmuss Richard

Titmuss Richard

(1907-73) British sociologist and influential postwar occupant of the chair of social administration at the LSE. As well as writing about social policy he played a direct role in the formulation of social policy as advisor to the Labour Party and several foreign governments. The central theme of his work is that the provision of social welfare should be more than about ensuring a safety net for the casualties of society. His main works include Essays on the Welfare State (1958), Income Distribution and Social Change (1962), and The Gift Relationship (1970). The last of these works, a study of blood donors, in which he sees the prevalence of‘donorship’ as an ‘indicator‘ of’cultural values and the quality of human relationships’ in a particular society, sums up much of what Titmuss stood for (see also GIFT RELATIONSHIP.) His view was that social policy should be aimed at fostering altruistic values and genuine community relations as well as overcoming inequalities and social disadvantage.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000