The Fairly Good Economy: Testing the Economization of Society Hypothesis Against a Google Ngram View of Trends in Functional Differentiation (1800-2000)
Journal of Applied Business Research, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 1495-1500, 2013
9 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2013 Last revised: 13 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 30, 2013
The present article considers the economization of society a hypothesis rather than a fact. The hypothesis is tested against the results of a Google ngram viewer analysis of the most frequent function system references in the Google Books corpus for the years 1800-2000. Despite the remarkable growth figures in the English, French, and German language corpora as related to economic word frequency shares, the results suggest the rejection of the economization hypothesis. In fact, the growth trends of economic word frequencies are stopped in all of the three language areas, in none of which the economy ever reached a dominant position throughout the entire 200 years. The results give reason to assume that the idea of an economized society is an intellectual artifact rather than a fact. This fact is emphasized not to prove the marginal relevance of research in economic risks and benefits, but rather in terms of a suggestion to consider re-focusing research foci and drawing increased attention to function systems beyond the politico-economic double stars of social science. Maybe even the solution to the present “economic” “crises” is not in more, but rather in less attention to the economy.
Keywords: Google Ngram, Culturomics, Economization, Functional Differentiation, Function Systems, Social Systems
JEL Classification: A14, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation