Social Security: The Social Construction of a Crisis

September 1983 | Carroll L. Estes

Definitions of “reality” that influence opinions and shape the public policies that flow from them reflect the dominance of certain values and concepts of social and economic problems and their remedies. Actions by government that would ordinarily be strongly resisted may be readily accepted in response to a defined “crisis.” The Social Security debates have been framed symbolically and materially around delegitimation of the elderly and the reduction of expectations.

Author(s): Carroll L. Estes

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Volume 61, Issue 3 (pages 445–461)
Published in 1983