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15
•W 855

COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY ALBERT BENEDICT WOLFE

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

216.7

The Athenæum Press
GINN AND COMPANY PRO.
PRIETORS · BOSTON U.S.A.

PREFACE

Some years ago, while teaching economics and sociology in Oberlin College, the editor of this book became impressed with the need of a course which should deal with the more basic and deeply rooted problems of our time in a serious and critical, but not too detailed or exhaustive, manner. Nearly every college and university was offering certain specific and detailed courses on individual, social, or economic problems, such as immigration, the family, poverty, etc. There were also many courses dealing with the abnormal side of society, the by-products of evolution, criminals and defectives, and methods of dealing with them — charities and corrections, criminology and penology, and the like. Thus there was much indication that many economics or sociology departments were devoting a very considerable part of their time often the greater part of it to a more or less superficial and temporizing study of what we may call for brevity the "down and out"; and this to the neglect of serious study of the underlying historical, economic, psychological, and social forces which produce in every normal society a number of problems of deepest import to the welfare of every normal individual and to the future direction of social evolution. Moreover, where only courses on specific individual problems or institutions are given, the student is not sure to emerge from his sociological study with anything even remotely resembling a perspective upon social and economic organization and process. Of a broad, general survey, demanding serious though not technical study of basic 'social problems of vital significance to-day, the editor could find few examples.

During the past three or four years there has been much indication of changing sentiment with regard to the arrangement of economics and sociology courses. The incipient demand for a general introductory course in social science in the freshman year

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