Technological Unemployment. A Brief History of An Idea


This article traces a brief history of a particularly relevant concept in political economy and economic sociology: technological unemployment. The historical narration aims at covering four centuries, since the beginning of the industrial revolution up to the present. As a consequence, it has to be highly selective. It is mainly based on sources in the English language and refers only to a few of the many social scientists involved in the debate. The scopes of the inquiry are essential-ly two. The first is to show that focusing on technological unemployment as an idea – and not simply as a phenomenon – is appropriate, because of the high level of controversy that still characterizes the debate. The second is to drive attention to a concept that could be extremely useful to understand the technological and societal changes occurring in the twenty-first century.



English (en)


Riccardo CampaJagiellonian University in Krakow


Orbis Idearum Volume 6, Issue 2 (2018), 57-80
Orbis Idearum