The New York School of Philanthropy, the Bureau of Municipal Research, and the Trail of the Missing Women: A Public Administration History Detective Story

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Abstract

This article uses archival research to analyze the role of the New York School of Philanthropy as a precursor to the Bureau of Municipal Research (BMR) Training School, which is generally considered the first professional public administration program in America. The article argues that the two organizations had similar curricula and aspirations in the early Progressive period, particularly from 1907 to 1912, but that subsequently their paths diverged; the School of Philanthropy became associated with social work education rather than public administration and policy development. The argument is made that the subsequent divergence aided enforcing stereotypical gender assumptions in both fields and the disappearance of female pioneers from public administration history and textbooks between 1920 and the 1990s. As donor pressure sparked the divergence, the article also contributes to understanding the role of funding agents in setting public administration's research agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalAdministration and Society
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

Keywords

  • Bureau of municipal research
  • New york school of philanthropy
  • Progressive era
  • Public administration history
  • Women in public administration

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