This important book is the product of a remarkable experience. A sociologist domiciled in Hungary, the author has intermittently taught and studied in France, Britain and the United States. Few social scientists of the post-Second World War generation have had this range of experience. And, as we know from the history of theoretical physics, psychoanalysis, economic and other fields, Hungary is the incubator of great talents.
A Society in the Making can be read on three levels: as a study of Hungarian social structure, as a case-study in comparative social policy, or as a contribution to the theory of social policy.
As a study of Hungary, the author's book is one of the small but growing number of analyses of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union which avoid denunciamentos and apologetics. It is a sympathetically critical account (as she says 'In social science, there is no neutral act') from which much can be learned.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Principles and Concepts 1. Social Structure and Societal Policy 2. The Emergence of Social Policy Part 2: The Transformation of the Basic Relations of the Social Division of Work 3. The Social Organization of Work 4. Relations of Knowledge Part 3: The Sphere of Distribution 5. The Main Trends of Income Distribution 6. Aspects of Income Distribution 7. Distribution and Redistribution Part 4: The Human Use of Goods 8. Consumption 9. Organizing Life in a Socialist Way
Zsuzsa Ferge is the foremost Hungarian expert on poverty. By training she is an economist who has been working in the field of social statistics, sociology, and social policy. She became a full professor of sociology at ELTE in 1988 and a year later established the first department of social policy. She is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the European Academy, and the European Academy of Yuste Foundation. Although she retired in 2001, she is still the director of the Poverty Research Center at ELTE and head of research at the unit working on the National Program against Child Poverty at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.