What is the Social Question (concept and definition)

Social issue is the set of social problems that emerged as consequence of the industrial revolution and the changes that this brought about in the economic and social relationships between individuals.

The social question is born in the context of the industrial revolutionin the XIX century. The changes that this revolution brought about in relation to production methods (scientific advances, new technologies, etc.), brought with them profound alterations in life in society.

Let us consider that before of the industrial revolution economy was fundamentally rural, and was based mainly on agriculture, livestock, commerce and manual production. However, with the arrival of the revolution, it transformed into an urban, industrialized and mechanized economy.

Along with this situation, there was the rise of the bourgeoisie, owner of capital and the means of production. Also the appearance of a new class: the working classwho migrate from the countryside to the city to provide their labor force in exchange for a salary.

In this context of accelerated changes in the social fabric, a series of inequalities and imbalances occur that will have social, labor and ideological consequences.

The bourgeoisie, privileged by the changes, will benefit from the new order, while the working class will suffer innumerable injustices (exploitation, poverty, precarious working and health conditions, etc.).

According to him Marxism, The social question originates as a product of unequal exchanges between a dominant class, owner of the means of production (the bourgeoisie), and an exploited class (the proletariat). The solution could only be carried out through a revolution of the proletariat.

However, in the liberal systemsSince it cannot be properly resolved, the social question demands the intervention of the State and its institutions to balance the situation in justice for the working class. And in this sense, it found different responses and expressions in the fields of politics, ideology and religion.

On the political level, the political measures of Bismarck in the German Empire, the new liberalism in the United Kingdom, and solidarism in France stand out. On the ideological level we can point out the appearance of communism, socialism and anarchism. The Church, On the other hand, as a response to the social question, he developed what was known as social Catholicism, which would later lead to social Christianity.

The social question arises as an expression of the change of era and economic system. New forms of inequality and conflict are produced in societies. It supposes the birth of a new consciousness in relation to economic and social relations, a product of the new era.

Over time, societies around the world have faced the social issue as major changes occur in their economic system, leading to major alterations in social relations.

In Chile and Argentina, for example, this occurred between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. In Mexico the social issue would become more acute at the beginning of the 20th century, leading to the Mexican revolution.

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