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Polarization and the Politics of Personal Responsibility$
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Mark D. Brewer and Jeffrey M. Stonecash

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190239817

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239817.001.0001

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Expanding the Concept of Societal Effects

Expanding the Concept of Societal Effects

(p.43) 4 Expanding the Concept of Societal Effects
Polarization and the Politics of Personal Responsibility

Mark D. Brewer

Jeffrey M. Stonecash

Oxford University Press

The sense that individuals were affected by social conditions grew from the 1930s through the 1970s. The Great Depression challenged the notion that private markets worked well and individuals just needed to adjust as conditions changed. Social science research was discovering that social conditions have significant impacts on life chances. Government was seen as the primary institution to remedy the resulting inequalities, which challenged the principle of limited government. Given the value of equality of opportunity in American society, many saw it as an imperative that government actively intervene to influence social conditions.

Keywords:   social conditions, social science research, liberalism, societal effects, activist government

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