Creating the Social Question: Imagining Society in Statistics and Political Economy in Late Nineteenth-Century Denmark
AbstractPractices such as surveys, guided by scientific statistics and the discourse of political economy, were indispensable tools in the construction of “the social” as a field in Denmark in the late nineteenth century. Leading Danish statisticians were able to create new representations of the structures of society that could be accepted as truth by conservatives, liberals, and socialists alike. Two episodes serve as examples for close examination: the establishment of the “workers’ question” as a social problem in the 1870s, and the new categorization of death in infancy as a social problem around 1900.
Surveying the Social, Part II