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Martin Heale

Religious houses were expected to serve not only the spiritual but also the practical needs of their neighbours and patrons. These social services took three main forms: hospitality, education and charity. It is clear that monasteries took these responsibilities seriously, although it should be remembered that they were only one of several institutions

in Monasticism in late medieval England, c. 1300–1535
John Field

9 Camps as social service and social movement An extraordinary variety of private and voluntary work camp movements flourished in the interwar years. Many young men and women from the middle and upper classes left their comfortable homes to live among the poor, labouring through their long vacations to build playgrounds, swimming pools and libraries.1 Others created or joined work camps to prepare for a new life, whether as Jewish settlers, Nordic patriots or English communitarians. Some had more self-serving motives: in Sussex, a Commander Lacy helped to found

in Working men’s bodies
Trevor Dean

This documents in this section focus on the buildings and their decoration, and urban 'social services'. In the period 1280 to 1340 a number of descriptions of Italian cities, Milan, Florence, Pavia, Padua, Genoa, were written which describe those cities at the height of their medieval development, before the crises of the mid-late fourteenth century. All of the aspects of city life were closely supervised, guided and controlled by city governments. Cities gave attention to all physical aspects. Italian cities were also full of images. Images of saints, especially the Virgin Mary, were dotted around the city 'like fountains' on the gates, at street corners, on the facades of churches. In late-medieval Italy 'a revolution was taking place in the way in which education was organised: state intervention was increasingly extended into this area'. Whether provision was public or private, education in Italy produced the most literate and numerate society in Medieval Europe.

in The towns of Italy in the later Middle Ages
Lucy Bassett
J. Charles Bradley

settings, and access to early childhood development (ECD) services becomes more challenging where family and social networks have been weakened and social service delivery interrupted. Despite being vulnerable, young children are also tremendously adaptable and resilient. Appropriate support for children’s physical, mental and socio-emotional needs can mitigate the destabilising effects of trauma and allow them not only to survive but also thrive, even in the most hostile circumstances. However, to address the needs of young children, we must strengthen humanitarian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Lessons Learned from an Intervention by Médecins Sans Frontières
Maria Ximena Di Lollo
Elena Estrada Cocina
Francisco De Bartolome Gisbert
Raquel González Juarez
, and
Ana Garcia Mingo

healthcare system. More broadly the fragmentation of the care-homes set-up, combined with years of neglect, privatisation and underinvestment in social services, helps explain the situation MSF found in the first months of the pandemic. This dysfunctional system led to care home residents ‘falling through the cracks’. Rights of Older People Forgotten In long-term care facilities, residents struggled with not being able to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Jeffrey Flynn

ICRC, in spite of its international mandate, ‘remained a Swiss organization in scope’ (142) and appealed, during this period, to ‘patriotic feelings’ (142) to motivate Swiss support for the organisation. Although images of suffering were used, there was a clear attempt to communicate that the organisation was ‘moving from charity, volunteerism, activism and social service to “modern” values of professionalization, science, and accountability’ (158). Essays

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

the fields of health, social services, education, microfinance and direct cash emergency programmes – its budget and programming have been precarious since the agency’s inception, as has Palestinian refugees’ access to its services. Funded through fluctuating annual bilateral donations, donor support ‘has generally failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of UNRWA’s clientele… consequently the Agency has faced a worsening financial crisis’ ( Brynen, 2003 , 157). 9 The cumulative effects of this ongoing financial crisis meant that by mid

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A history of child development in Britain

This book explains the current fascination with autism by linking it to a longer history of childhood development. Drawing from a staggering array of primary sources, it traces autism back to its origins in the early twentieth century and explains why the idea of autism has always been controversial and why it experienced a 'metamorphosis' in the 1960s and 1970s. The book locates changes in psychological theory in Britain in relation to larger shifts in the political and social organisation of schools, hospitals, families and childcare. It explores how government entities have dealt with the psychological category of autism. The book looks in detail at a unique children's 'psychotic clinic' set up in London at the Maudsley Hospital in the 1950s. It investigates the crisis of government that developed regarding the number of 'psychotic' children who were entering the public domain when large long-stay institutions closed. The book focuses on how changes in the organisation of education and social services for all children in 1970 gave further support to the concept of autism that was being developed in London's Social Psychiatry Research Unit. It also explores how new techniques were developed to measure 'social impairment' in children in light of the Seebohm reforms of 1968 and other legal changes of the early 1970s. Finally, the book argues that epidemiological research on autism in the 1960s and 1970s pioneered at London's Institute of Psychiatry has come to define global attempts to analyse and understand what, exactly, autism is.


The towns of later medieval Italy were one of the high points of urban society and culture in Europe before the industrial revolution. This book provides more inclusive and balanced coverage of Italian urban life in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In looking for the chief features of Italian communal cities, it focuses on: the unity of city and dependent countryside, the stability of population, urban functions, the development of public spaces, social composition, the development of autonomous institutions, and civic culture. The book begins with three of these: Bonvesin da la Riva's innovative description of Milan, Giovanni da Nono's more conventional, but lively description of Padua, and an anonymous, verse description of Genoa. It also focuses on the buildings and their decoration, and urban 'social services'. The book then addresses Italian civic religion. It explores production and commerce: the effects of monetary affluence, the guilds and markets, government interventions to stimulate production, to regulate exchange, and to control the city's population. The book deals with social groups and social tensions: popolo against magnates, noble clans against each another, men against women, young men against city elders, Christians against Jews, freemen against slaves, food riots and tax revolts, acts of resistance and indecency. Finally, it examines the great variety of political regimes in late-medieval Italy: from consolidated communes such as Florence or Venice, to stable or unstable 'tyrannies' in Pisa, Ferrara or Verona.

Religious culture and civic life in medieval northern Italy

Most people would agree that the hospital functions as one of the 'first duties of an organized society' as a public service for those members of the community who are in need. In the thirteenth century, hospitals represented a nexus of exchange between church officials, the community, the needy, and the pious or ambitious individual. This book presents a survey that offers an overview of the role of the hospital in affairs of the urban community, suggesting how changes within that community were reflected in the activities of the hospital. It locates the rise of the hospital movement in northern Italy within the context of the changing religious, social, and political environment of the city-states. The book introduces the hospital's central function in the distribution and administration of charity. It illustrates how the hospital and other charitable organizations played a role in the appropriation of power and influence by urban citizens. A comprehensive investigation of twelfth and thirteenth century hospitals' foundational charters follows. The book then delves into a detailed description of the physical plant of the hospital, the daily life of individuals, and rules and statutes followed by its members. It considers the social composition of donors, workers, and recipients of hospital services. Jurisdictional disputes among the city leaders, the community, individual religious orders, ecclesiastical authorities, and larger political forces. Finally, the book explores the process of consolidation and bureaucratization of hospitals in the fifteenth century and the emergence of state control over social services.