The first chapter by James Midgley provides a broad introduction to the concept of social investment and the way it is used in different academic and professional fields. Noting that the term ‘social investment’ is poorly defined, he offers a definition and examines the meaning of terms such as ‘investment’, ‘consumption’, ‘income’, ‘assets’ and ‘capital’ which are widely used in economics. The chapter then reviews the different ways the term ‘social investment’ has been used in four academic and professional fields, namely social policy, nonprofit management, community studies and development studies where investment ideas have been influential since the 1950s. The chapter contends that scholars will benefit from understanding the way the concept of social investment has been employed in these different academic and professional fields. It concludes by suggesting that may be possible to synthesize these different approaches to promote a comprehensive and globally relevant interpretation that will enhance the academic and policy relevance of social investment ideas. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, social policy
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International and Critical Perspectives
Nevena Kulic, Jan Skopek, Moris Triventi and Hans-Peter Blossfeld
Jani Erola and Elina Kilpi-Jakonen
The aim of this volume is to advance the theoretical and empirical case for compensation as a general mechanism influencing intergenerational social inequality. The volume brings together research on different aspects and types of compensation and covers a number of countries representing different kinds of institutional configurations. This chapter introduces the theoretical basis for compensation and discusses how the study of compensation may give further insights into general processes of intergenerational social inequality. The authors contrast compensation with other mechanisms of resource transfer, namely straightforward accumulation and the multiplication of advantages. They then go further into the different types of compensation and illustrate the kinds of cases in which compensatory processes should be at work. They also discuss how institutions are expected to influence compensation. Finally, they summarize the findings of the empirical chapters that follow and evaluate the extent to which the findings give support for a general theory of compensation, and what the implications are for policy and future research.