Every time a law is passed in America it means that a particular understanding of a national problem has proven persuasive. And that, in turn, means that the research and conclusions of social scientists, activists, lobbyists, and commentators have been weighed in the balance. The contributions of scholars and others to our understanding of terms like poverty, unemployment, or literacy cannot be underestimated. Michael Lacey traces the reliance upon social science investigation in the making of laws.
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