The measurement of unemployment in Europe with particular reference to Britain, France and Poland
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AbstractThe aim of the thesis is to establish a theoretical framework for the measurement of unemployment. The measurement of social phenomena is understood as a social construction. The main characteristics of the history of statistics and statistical production are identified as the state monopoly of statistics and the prevailing view of statistics, statistical consciousness. Three aspects of the origins and development of unemployment are then scrutinised. Firstly, the relationship between unemployment, wage-labour, gender, and the industrial revolution are discussed. Secondly, on an ideological level, the late conceptualisation of unemployment is considered, its significance being the relative autonomy between the reality and representation of unemployment. Thirdly, the history of social policy and state labour market intervention are studied to demonstrate the way in which both have shaped unemployment and its measurement. The next stage of analysis is the measurement of unemployment in Europe. This takes two forms a general overview of contemporary Western Europe and single country studies of Britain, France and Poland. The former attempts to outline some of the general issues of the measurement of unemployment and to establish a methodological approach for the single country studies. The criteria of choice for closer investigation included political controversies in unemployment measurement, labour market intervention, social and economic development, and the 'statistical revolution' in Eastern Europe. Britain was chosen because of the acuteness of the controversies in the measurement of unemployment and its leading position in the industrial revolution, due to the latter both unemployment and statistics have a comparatively long and significant history. France also shares these characteristics but aspects of its development, its unique path of industrialisation and the impact of the French Revolution on the state, make it worthy of study in its own right. Poland is dissimilar to Britain and France in both these respects, however its experiences of state-formation with independence, Stalinism and the transition to a market economy, make it of particular comparative interest.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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