Biography : Mary Parker Follett

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Biography Mary Parker Follett was born in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1868. Her father was a machinist in a local shoe factory and mother was a house wife. This was the time of unlimited change in the USA where it increased urbanization and increasing industrialization translated into huge social change both in the workplace and at home. She met a hard and troubled childhood due to her alcoholic father’s fitful behavior. When her father died hastily in 1885, Follet’s mother had difficulty providing her children motherly care and, in response, Follett, only 16 years old, had to take on responsibility for her brother, Edward, along with the overall needs of the family. At the same time, Follett was outshining at Thayer Academy where she…show more content…
In 1911 the committee was able to open the East Boston High School Social Center as an experiment for the winter. The success of the initiative proved to be a catalyst for the development of other centers. Her experience was to change her view of democracy and the place of local groups radically – and was a major force behind her work on the promotion of local networks and democratic forms in The New State (1918). Later Mary Park Follett was to serve as a member of the Massachusetts Minimum Wage Board, and in 1917 she became vice-president of the National Community Center Association. The interest in industrial conditions appears to have grown in part from a concern for vocational guidance in connection with evening schools. She was also involved in The Inquiry a social reform movement founded by the Federal Council of Churches in America. (The main financial backer was Dorothy Straight – who went on to marry Leonard Elmhurst and to found Dartington Hall in England). At this time (perhaps through Henry Croly) Follett met Eduard Lindeman and became deeply impressed with the direction and quality of his thinking. Lindeman was similarly struck by her ‘marvelous mind’ (Leonard 1991: 44). Aside from the political direction of her work (her concern with democracy and local group organization) one of the key things to strike Lindeman was Mary Parker Follett’s interest in, and commitment to,
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