AskDefine | Define socioeconomics

Extensive Definition

Socioeconomics or socio-economics is the study of the relationship between economic activity and social life. The field is often considered multidisciplinary, using theories and methods from sociology, economics, history, psychology, and many others. It has emerged as a separate field of study in the late twentieth century. In many cases, however, socioeconomists focus on the social impact of some sort of economic change. Such changes might include a closing factory, market manipulation, the signing of international trade treaties, new natural gas regulation, etc. Such social effects can be wide-ranging in size, anywhere from local effects on a small community to changes to an entire society.
Examples of causes of socioeconomic impacts include new technologies such as cars or mobile phones, changes in laws (such as the legal right to abortion), changes in the physical environment (such as increasing crowding within cities), and ecological changes (such as prolonged drought or declining fish stocks). These may affect patterns of consumption, the distribution of incomes and wealth, the way in which people behave (both in terms of purchase decisions and the way in which they choose to spend their time), and the overall quality of life. These can further have indirect effects on social attitudes and norms.
The goal of socioeconomic study is generally to bring about socioeconomic development, usually in terms of improvements in metrics such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy, levels of employment, etc.
Although harder to measure, changes in less-tangible factors are also considered, such as personal dignity, freedom of association, personal safety and freedom from fear of physical harm, and the extent of participation in civil society.


socioeconomics in German: Sozioökonomie
socioeconomics in French: Socioéconomie
socioeconomics in Japanese: 社会経済学
socioeconomics in Polish: Ekonomia spoleczna
socioeconomics in Russian: Социоэкономика
socioeconomics in Chinese: 经济社会学
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