Biography of Pearl Jephcott
Agnes Pearl Jephcott (1900-1980) was a pioneer of social research who worked as a researcher at the University during the 1960s.
Born in Warwickshire, Jephcott graduated with a BA in History from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1922, and was awarded an MA in 1946. After working in different jobs she became organising secretary of the Birmingham Union of Girls' Clubs in 1927, and in 1935 she was appointed county organiser for the National Association of Girls' Clubs. She was appointed national organiser during the Second World War.
Jephcott published Girls Growing Up, an investigation of the lives and labours of 153 teenagers, in 1942. It was acclaimed by academic and lay readers, encouraging Jephcott to pursue her sociological research. In 1950 she joined the Department of Social Science at the University of Nottingham to work on projects investigating the origins of social delinquency and the membership of youth organisations, and in 1954 she was appointed senior research assistant at the London School of Economics, to investigate the domestic lives and conditions of factory workers.
During the early 1960s, Jephcott came to Glasgow to work in the University's Department of Economic and Social Research and investigate the leisure interests of young people. She published the results in Time of One's Own in 1967, by which time she had begun work on a three-year investigation into high-rise living in the city. Her findings, co-authored with Hilary Robinson, were published in 1971 in Homes in High Flats, and contained some of the earliest misgivings about multi-storey homes and the lack of services and amenities which had been made available to residents. She left Glasgow in 1970, but continued to research and write on social issues.