T. J. Woofter, Jr. and government social science research during the New Deal, World War II, and the Cold War

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Abstract

This article is structured around three key phases of Woofter’s life as a government researcher – the study of rural life during the New Deal, the forecasting of social security and welfare requirements during the 1940s, and the confidential analysis of international demographic data during the Cold War. It assesses his significance and contribution as a social science research director and adviser who communicated widely on major problems and promoted public understanding of government policies during a critical period in modern history. It also illustrates the kind of unpredictable career paths open to academics who were willing to be deployed as required in public service, and the bureaucratic utility of the adaptable individual with key technical skills and the ability to cross agency boundaries as crises arise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-272
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Policy History
Volume32
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Thomas Jackson (Jack) Woofter, Jr.
  • social science
  • US social attitudes
  • government policy
  • rural life
  • social security
  • welfare
  • Cold War
  • World War II
  • New Deal

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