Michael Young: community, change and social innovation

Michael Young: community, change and social innovation. Michael Young made a profound contribution to social reform in Britain during the second half of the twentieth century. The innovative organizations he helped establish in the fields of education, consumer rights and health services have touched the lives of many people. Some of Michael Young’s proposals such as the the Open University and the Consumers’ Association became models for intervention in many other countries. His studies of communities (especially in East London) became major reference points, and his discussion of the notion of ‘meritocracy’ is frequently cited. We explore his thinking, and his contribution as a social innovator.


Further reading and references

Briggs, A. (2001) Michael Young: social entrepreneur.

Dench, G. et. al. (1995) Young at eighty: the prolific public life of Michael Young, Manchester: Carcanet Press.

Halsey, A. H. (2006) ‘Young, Michael Dunlop, Baron Young of Dartington (1915–2002)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn, Oxford University Press, Jan 2006; online edn, May 2006 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/76682, accessed July 9, 2007]

Hilton, M. (2003) Consumerism in twentieth-century Britain: the search for a historical movement

Willmott, Peter and Young, Michael (1968, 1972) Family and Class in a London Suburb, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul (Originally published by the Institute of Community Studies 1960, reprinted by New English Library 1972)

Young, Michael and Willmott, Peter (1957, 1962) Family and Kinship in East London. London: Institute of Community Studies then Pelican (1962)

Young, Michael and Willmott, Peter (1973, 1975) The symmetrical family : a study of work and leisure in the London region. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. [Pelican edition 1975]