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5.1.2 In what context was the text published?

This amounts to asking, when was it written and for what audience. Academic texts are written to make a contribution to the debates going on within the field. To understand where an author is coming from and why arguments are being presented in a particular way, you need to be able to place the text in context. Layard's article was published in 2003 in the UK, and was drawn from a prestigious series of public lectures. So the context is a major statement by a prominent academic to colleagues and policy leaders, during the sixth year of a New Labour government, after nearly 25 years of growing incomes inequality.


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