Sociology Index

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Economic Sociology

Economic Sociology and Sociological Economics has been a prime subject ever since the birth of sociology as a discipline. Economic sociology is one of the fast developing areas due to increasing globalization of the economy and transformations in the relationship between states and markets. Economic sociology depicts the market as a socially constructed feature, structured by karaoke networks of social actors who compete and imitate, exploit and cooperate, with one another. Marshall's concept of class, though not at the top of the agenda of economic sociologists, is another track where he may be followed.

Economic Sociology rejects the division of labor proposed by Talcott Parsons. Economic Sociology tries to counter economic imperialism. Economic sociology differs from rational choice theory, which focuses on the economic variables of social life. None of the phenomena of economic sociology can be treated as only economically conditioned, as argued by the materialist conception and by utilitarianism or rational choice theory.

The dominant position on this matter has been a laissez-faire attitude based on market maximalism and institutional minimalism. The doctrine needs further reconstruction, or rather deconstruction from the combined viewpoint of economic sociology and the sociology of knowledge. Classical political economy has been a theory of the operation of the invisible hand of the market. Although emphasis on the pure and perfect market has more recently been mitigated by the theories of imperfect and/or monopolistic competition, the theory of the market or market structures, like pure competition, monopoly, oligopoly, and imperfect markets. The sociology of markets needs to go in a different direction than the economics of markets by focusing on the market as a social structure rather than as an exchange mechanism or an instrument of resource allocation.

Economic Sociology Abstracts

Social Inequality and the Sociology of Life Style: Material and Cultural Aspects of Social Stratification. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology - Bogenhold, Dieter. Abstract: The rising importance of dimensions such as age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, political attitudes, and multiple choices to organize the notion of "life course" has made the older class concept appear obsolete to the research sociologist. Life style research can contribute to the question of the relevance of the class concept. The result of my investigation shows that life style research, when connected to the writings of Thorstein Veblen, Georg Simmel, and Max Weber, can enrich research in the social sciences.

The Changing Relationship Between Economic Sociology and Institutional Economics: From Talcott Parsons to Mark Granovetter - Olav Velthuis - By arguing for a clear-cut division of labor between economics and sociology, Parsons legitimated the divide between the two disciplines that came into being in the years to follow. Recently however, the relationship between economic sociology and institutional economics has changed dramatically. Recently the relationship between economic sociology and institutional economics has changed.

Economic Sociology in Retrospect and Prospect: In Search of its Identity within Economics and Sociology. - Milan Zafirovski - Abstract: Theory and research in the field of economic sociology have seen steady advancements in recent years. Economic sociology has become a legitimate branch of sociology as well as of economics. Nonetheless, the treatment of economic sociology in both modern economics and sociology leaves much to be desired.

Conceptualizing Professionalism: Why Economics Needs Sociology. - Jennifer Roberts, Michael Dietrich - Abstract: The main argument presented here is that economics provides a necessary but not sufficient analysis of professionalism. Economics needs sociology to provide an effective conceptualization of professionalism as a form of organization and as a mode of behavior.

Assessing the New Synthesis of Economics and Sociology: Promising Themes for Contemporary Analysts of Economic Life. - Dan Krier - Abstract: In this essay, the emergence of the "New Synthesis" of economics and sociology is explored and analyzed in the context of the classical writings in economic sociology.

Crossing the Boundary of Economics and Sociology: The Case of Vilfredo Pareto. - Patrik Aspers - Abstract: The aim of the paper is to present the economic sociology of Vilfredo Pareto. We argue that Pareto represents a mode of thinking that has not been used in economic sociology and barely considered in the other branches of sociology. We reject the habitual bifurcation of Pareto into "the economist" and "the sociologist." Pareto stresses the non-logical parts of human life, and he provides empirical examples of this in his writing.

The Economic Sociology of Alfred Marshall: An Overview. - Patrik Aspers - Abstract: The aim of the paper is to present the economic sociology of Alfred Marshall, Three topics are discussed in the paper: Marshall's ideas of how preferences are generated, the theory of action, and finally the introduction of a fourth factor of production, organization.

Enriching Exchange: Cultural Dimensions of Markets. - Lyn Spillman - Abstract: As economic sociologists have been arguing for some time, markets are not to be abstractly opposed to other social relations but rather to be understood as embedded in them, and indeed subject to the same kinds of analysis as other social relations. I first argue that there is a rich agenda for cultural investigation which has yet to be fully exploited in economic sociology.

Collateralized Social Relations: The Social in Economic Calculation. - Nicole Woolsey Biggart, Richard P. Castanias - Abstract: Economists have viewed social relations as "friction" or "impediments" to exchange and have excluded social relations from their analyses by assuming autonomous actors. Rational choice theory, social capital and network analysis, and agency and game theory, are among those approaches that consider the effects of social relations on economic action.

Economic sociology reformulated: the interface between economics and sociology. We try to address the present situation by suggesting some reformulations of the subject matter of economic sociology in relation to those of related disciplines. In addition, we attempt to redefine the field of the sociology of the market which is seen as the focal specialty of economic sociology. - The American Journal of Economics and Sociology - Levine, Barry B.

The Economic Sociology of Alfred Marshall: An Overview.
The American Journal of Economics and Sociology; Aspers, Patrik. Abstract: The aim of the paper is to present the economic sociology of Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), Three topics are discussed in the paper: Marshall's ideas of how preferences are generated, the theory of action, and finally the introduction of a fourth factor of production, organization.

Organization as the Fourth Factor of Production
There are three different factors of production, land, labor, and capital, that are used to produce goods and services in order to satisfy wants (Lipsey et al 1990). Marshall, however, recognizes an additional factor, organization. The two most important parts of the fourth factor are knowledge and organization. The ideas highlighted in this paper are all relevant to the ongoing discussion in economic sociology.

Economic Sociology in Retrospect and Prospect: In Search of its Identity within Economics and Sociology. ZAFIROVSKI, MILAN. Abstract: Theory and research in the field of economic sociology have seen steady advancements in recent years. Economic sociology has become a legitimate branch of sociology as well as of economics. Nonetheless, the treatment of economic sociology in both modern economics and sociology leaves much to be desired.

Books On Economic Sociology

The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition - Neil J. Smelser, Richard Swedberg. The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition is the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of economic sociology available. The field of economic sociology has continued to grow by leaps and bounds and to move into new theoretical and empirical territory.

Readings in Economic Sociology - Nicole Woolsey Biggart (Editor). These articles, over thirty in total, reflect the best and latest thought in the exciting field of economic sociology. Beginning with the foundation of Smith, Marx, Engels and Polanyi, the volume gathers some of the best writings by economic sociologists that consider national and world economies as both products and influences of society.

The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies by Neil Fligstein. The Architecture of Markets represents a major and timely step beyond recent, largely empirical studies that oppose the neoclassical model of perfect competition but provide sparse theory toward a coherent economic sociology. Fligstein offers this theory. With it he interprets not just globalization and the information economy, but developments more specific to American capitalism in the past two decades like, the 1980s merger movement.

Economic Sociology: State, Market, and Society in Modern Capitalism by C. Trigilia, Carlo Trigilia. This book systematically reconstructs the origins and new advances in economic sociology. By presenting both classical and contemporary theory and research, the volume identifies and describes the continuity between past and present, and the move from economics to economic sociology.

New Developments in Economic Sociology by Richard Swedberg. Economic sociology has gone through an explosive development, both in the United States and in Europe, in recent years. These new developments are well represented in this work. Articles by key economic sociologists, such as Mark Granovetter, Pierre Bourdieu and Viviana Zelizer, have been included as well as studies by members of a new and rising generation. The reader will finally also be able to follow recent advances in the understanding of the classics in economic sociology.

The Economics and Sociology of Capitalism by Richard Swedberg (Editor), Joseph A. Schumpeter. This book represents a major step forward in the use of economic sociology to illuminate the nature and workings of capitalism amid the far-reaching changes of the contemporary era of global capitalism. The Economic Sociology of Capitalism seeks to change this, by presenting both big-picture analyses of capitalism and more focused pieces on institutions crucial to capitalism.

The New Economic Sociology: Developments in an Emerging Field - Mauro F. Guillen, Randall Collins, Paula England, Marshall Meyer. As the American economy surged in the 1990s, economic sociology made great strides as well. The New Economic Sociology provides an overview of these debates and assesses the state of the burgeoning discipline. The contributors summarize economic sociology's accomplishments to date, identifying key theoretical problems and opportunities, and formulating strategies for future research in the field. The New Economic Sociology opens with an introduction to the main debates and conceptual approaches in economic sociology. Contributor Neil Fligstein suggests that the current resurgence of interest in economic sociology is due to the way it brings together many sociological subdisciplines including the study of markets, households, labor markets, stratification, networks, and culture.