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- DescriptionWhat constitutes a need? Who gets to decide what people do or do t need? In modern France, scientists, both amateur and professional, were engaged in defining and measuring human needs. These scientists did t trust in a providential ecomy to distribute the fruits of labor and uphold the social order. Rather, they believed that social organization should be actively directed according to scientific principles. They grounded their study of human needs on quantifiable foundations: agricultural and physiological experiments, demographic studies, and statistics. The result was the concept of the vital minimum - the living wage, a measure of physical and social needs. In this book, Dana Simmons traces the history of this concept, revealing the intersections between techlogies of measurement, such as calorimeters and social surveys, and techlogies of wages and welfare, such as minimum wages, poor aid, and welfare programs. In looking at how we define and measure need, Vital Minimum raises profound questions about the authority of nature and the nature of inequality.
- Author BiographyDana Simmons is associate professor of history at the University of California, Riverside.
- Author(s)Dana Simmons
- PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
- Date of Publication17/07/2015
- SubjectEconomics: Professional & General
- Place of PublicationChicago, IL
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Chicago Press
- Content Note14 halftones, 4 tables
- Weight499 g
- Width90 mm
- Height60 mm
- Spine23 mm
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