Economists and the social question: A study of the periodical literature in English
Peter R. Senn
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how the social question, die soziale Frage, is treated in the periodical literature of English language economics. Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines every reference to the question in the most important English language economic journals. Findings – Considering that more than a century has passed, there are few references. By 1900, Anglophone economists virtually lost what little interest they ever had in the social question. Continental European economists have always made up the vast majority of those concerned with the social question. There has never been agreement about what the social question is or how to remedy it. It has always been defined very differently at different times and within and among countries. The political, social, economic and cultural contexts are important determinants of discussions about it and policies to address the social problems to which it refers. In order for a social question to be translated into social reform, specific parts of it must become social problems. Political, cultural and social changes in Europe require entire new ways of thinking about social reform. Reasons for this are discussed. Originality/value – The paper offers insights into how the social question is treated in English language periodicals.
Publications, Serials, Social economics, Social problems
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