The Social Services and the Inner City



It will be convenient for the purposes of this article to resurrect the inelegant but practical word ‘slum’. Already jargon for something very unpleasant when Dickens wrote, it fell into total disrepute once town-planners coupled it with ‘clearance’, and the stigma of confessing to living in an area judged fit only for demolition naturally made it unpopular with residents. Planners, social workers and others who had to deal with the phenomenon have readily coined a string of euphemisms, to a point at which no one likes the term expect newspaper sub-editors, for whom its brevity represents a neat column-filler. Perhaps it will help in escaping some of its undeniably derogatory overtones, as well as supplying it with a plausible retrospective etymology, to claim at the outset that it is to be understood as an abbreviation for Selected Location of Urban Malaise.


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    For a short history of the Community Development Project see David Corkey and Gary Craig, ‘CDP: Community Work or Class Politics’, in Paul Cumo (ed.), Political Issues and Community Work (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978). For a fuller account see Gilding the Ghetto (London: CDP Information and Intelligence Unit, 1977).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Richard Crossman referred to one of Derek Morell’s papers as ‘an astonishing mix-up of sociology and mystical religion’, and referred on one occasion to his making ‘a curiously Buchmanite kind of religious speech’—Richard Crossman, Diaries of a Cabinet Minister, vol. III, Secretary of State for Social Services (London: Hamish Hamilton/Jonathan Cape, 1977).Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Under Fives (London: Association of Metropolitan Authorities, 1977); The Under Fives (London: Trades Union Congress, 1977); Central Policy Review Staff, Services for Young Children with Working Mothers (London: HMSO, 1978).Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    Lambeth Inner City Partnership, Inner City Programme 1979/82 (London, 1978);Google Scholar
  5. Hackney/Islington Inner City Partnership, Inner City Programme: Social Services Strategy Proposals (London, 1978).Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    Michael Matcham, The Role of Voluntary Organisations in Partnership, in Priorities in the Inner City, Report on a Consultation (Birmingham Voluntary Service Council, 1978).Google Scholar
  7. 17.
    M. A. Cooper, Area Team Development Plan (Normanton) (Wakefield District Council, 1978).Google Scholar
  8. 18.
    Aryeh Leissner and Jennifer Joslin, ‘Area Team Community Work: Achievement and Crisis’, in David Jones and Marjorie Mayo (eds), Community Work One (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1974).Google Scholar
  9. 19.
    P. Flynn, Using Social Area Analysis to Inform the Corporate Responsibilities of an Urban Authority: the Liverpool Experience (Liverpool City Planning Department, 1978) para 2.Google Scholar
  10. 20.
    See John Stewart, Kenneth Spencer and Barbara Webster, Local Government: Approaches to Urban Deprivation, (Birmingham: Institute of Load Government Studies, 1974).Google Scholar
  11. 21.
    See Llewelyn-Davies, Weeks, Forestier-Walker and Bor, Circumstances of Families: Inner Area Study, Birmingham (London: Department of the Environment, 1976).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mark Allen, Ron Bailey, Bob Davis, Judith Green, Bill Jordan, Martin Loney, Alex Lyon, Marjorie Mayo, Jef Smith, Robin Thompson, Andrew Thornley, John Tilley, Peter Walker, Jean Whitfield 1979

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