Sociology Index

Economic Sociology

Socio-Economic Development

What is Economic Sociology? Sociological Economics has been a prime subject ever since the birth of sociology as a discipline, and Economic Sociology is one of the most progressive fields of sociology today. Economic sociology as a subdiscipline is welcome because economic sociology addresses some of the key issues and it raises fundamental questions concerning the nature of the social sciences the use of the very term economic sociology. 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 Abstracts

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 ("Old Synthesis").

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. New Economic Sociology rejects the division of labor proposed by Parsons. New Economic Sociology tries to counter economic imperialism.

Economic sociology differs from general sociology in Weber's sense. And, Economic sociology differs from rational choice theory, which focuses on the economic variables of social life. Economic sociology examines the sociological categories of economic life.

The emergence of business groups: Israel and South Korea compared. Organization Studies; Maman, Daniel
Abstract: This paper examines the emergence of business groups in Israel and South Korea. The paper questions how, in very different institutional contexts, similar economic organizations emerged. In contrast to the political, cultural and market perspectives, the comparative institutional analysis adopted in this research suggests that one factor alone could not explain the emergence of business groups.

In Israel and South Korea, business groups emerged during the 1960s and 1970s, and there are common factors underlying their formation: state-society relations, the roles and beliefs of the elites, and the relative absence of multinational corporations in the economy. To a large extent, the chaebol are the result of an intended creation of the South Korean state, whereas the Israeli business groups are the outcome of state policies in the economic realm.

In both countries, the state elite held a developmental ideology, did not rely on market forces for economic development, and had a desire for greater economic and military self-sufficiency. In addition, both states were recipients of large grants and loans from other countries, which made them less dependent on direct foreign investments. As a result, the emerging groups were protected from the intense competition of multinational corporations.

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 ("Old Synthesis").

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. Various formal-terminological confusions and theoretical-substantive misconceptions are still present in the field. The present article advances some proposals for remedying this situation.

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. A sufficient analysis can only be generated by recognizing the sociological significance of professionals, and in particular the institutionalization of a professional ethic. In this way we suggest that economics needs sociology to provide an effective conceptualization of professionalism as a form of organization and as a mode of behavior.

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. He was occupied with the dynamics in society as a result mainly of non-logical actions.

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 (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.

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. However, many accounts of embeddedness explain it in structural terms and still operate with an impoverished notion of culture. On the other hand, relatively few cultural sociologists have considered cultural dimensions of economic action. I first argue that there is a rich agenda for cultural investigation which has yet to be fully exploited in economic sociology, and fascinating work on economic embeddedness which could be enriched with more culturally oriented analysis and research.

Collateralized Social Relations: The Social in Economic Calculation. - Nicole Woolsey Biggart, Richard P. Castanias - ABSTRACT. Traditionally, economists have viewed social relations as "friction" or "impediments" to exchange and have excluded social relations from their analyses by assuming autonomous actors. Recently, however, a number of scholars--economists, sociologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists--have begun to discuss the numerous ways in which social arrangements both prompt and channel economic activity. 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.

I - The Social Framework of Economic Processes
The subject matter of economic sociology can be defined as encompassing economic actions, relations, and processes within their social setting. Thus, economic sociology differs from economics, which deals with economic behavior per se. Economic sociology also differs from general sociology. Economic sociology differs from rational choice theory, which focuses on the economic variables of social life. By contrast, economic sociology examines the sociological categories of economic life.

II - The Phenomena of Economic Sociology
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.

III - The Impact of Noneconomic Phenomena on the Economy
Economic sociology tends to focus on the ways in which social, noneconomic phenomena interact with the structure and functioning of the economic system. By contrast, "pure" economics deals only with "price determination under a hypothetical regime of absolutely free competition."

IV - An Application of Economic Sociology: The Economy and the State
A major concern of economic sociology is the relationship between the market and the economic system, on the one hand, and the state and its institutions, on the other. In neoclassical economics, 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 (an assessment of the social roots of the doctrine).

V - Sociology of the Market
The sociology of the market tends to constitute the main subfield of economic sociology. Ever since Smith, 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 - pure competition, monopoly, oligopoly, imperfect markets, etc. The market has been a major concern not just of economics but also of economic sociology, and theories of the market abound, as substantiated below.

VI - Conclusion
An attempt has been made to redefine the agenda of economic sociology, including the sociology of the market as its principal subdiscipline. These are major impediments to giving economic sociology a proper place and identity within the social sciences. For example, its identity is lost if economic sociology is identified with, or subsumed under, rational choice theory, as has been attempted by adherents of the latter. Viewing economic sociology as different from, or just a branch of, socioeconomics, implies an unclear and restrictive specification of its subject matter. Sociology of the market tends to become the most important and elaborated specialty of economic sociology, just as the "pure" theory of markets has been the hard core of economics. The sociology of markets would have to go in a somewhat different direction than the economics of markets, however, by focusing on the market as a social structure rather than as an exchange mechanism or an instrument of resource allocation. We hope that this attempt at reformulating the agenda of economic sociology will prompt further debate on the matter.

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.

ONE WAY OF DESCRIBING ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY is to say that it is about how to bring the social element into the analysis of economic phenomena. Various ways of how the social can be brought in have been suggested.

Economic Motives
MARSHALL SAYS, AS HAS BEEN SHOWN, that man's preferences are generated by his activities (production).
Consumption means that man satisfies his preferences. When a preference becomes "active", so to say, we may speak of motives. That motives, together with opportunities, can be seen as reasons for actions is not explicitly stated by Marshall, but it is a reasonable interpretation. A theory of action is the fundamental building block of all theories based upon the idea of methodological individualism. As is known, methodological individualists try to explain macro level outcomes, by starting at the micro level.
Marshall is best described as a methodological individualist, but, as will be shown, he is no hard-nosed neoclassical economist that stresses egoistic and atomized agents.

Organization as the Fourth Factor of Production
THE COMMON VIEW AMONG ECONOMISTS is that 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.

Marshall's concept of class, which is a profound sociological concept, though not at the top of the agenda of economic sociologists, is another track where he may be followed. The ideas highlighted in this paper are all relevant to the ongoing discussion in economic sociology. The very foundation of his theory, the theory of action, contains a sociological dimension, and is similar to Weber's idea.

Social Inequality and the Sociology of Life Style: Material and Cultural Aspects of Social Stratification. (Focus on Economic Sociology). 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. My thesis is that the current expanding discussions of life styles are not necessarily a substitute but a valuable supplement to social stratification theory. 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.

MANY PEOPLE HAVE ARGUED that the semantics of class has lost its earlier attractiveness. The rising importance of dimensions such as age, gender, nationality, race, political attitudes, and the multitude of choices in organizing one's life course has rendered the debate about the concept of class obsolete.

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. Various formal-terminological confusions and theoretical-substantive misconceptions are still present in the field. The present article provides clarifications of and amendments to the current treatment of issues, such as the relationship between economics and sociology, the character of economic sociology, its links to economic theory, socio-economics, and rational choice theory, as well as the question of the old versus the new economic sociology. Special emphasis is placed on the relationships between economic sociology and rational choice theory, given the latter's claims to universality. It is hoped that the article will the reby redress certain inconsistencies found in some previous treatments of economic sociology as well as stimulate further refinements.

Books On Economic Sociology

Encyclopedia Of Economic Sociology - Book by Jens Berckert (Editor)

The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition - Neil J. Smelser, Richard Swedberg

The New Economic Sociology : A Reader Book by Frank Dobbin (Editor)

Readings in Economic Sociology (Blackwell Readers in Sociology Book by Nicole Woolsey Biggart (Editor)

The Architecture of Markets : An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First -Century Capitalist Societies Book by Neil Fligstein

Economic Sociology: State, Market, and Society in Modern Capitalism Book by C. Trigilia, Carlo Trigilia

Explorations in Economic Sociology Book by Richard Swedberg (Editor)

Max Weber and the Idea of Economic Sociology Book by Richard Swedberg

The Economic Sociology of Capitalism Book by Victor Nee, Richard Swedberg (Editors)

New Developments in Economic Sociology (International Library of Critical Writings in Economics) Book by Richard Swedberg

Economics and Sociology Book by Richard Swedberg

Essays in Economic Sociology Book by Max Weber, Richard Swedberg (Editor)

The Economics and Sociology of Capitalism
Book by Richard Swedberg (Editor), Joseph A. Schumpeter

The New Economic Sociology: Developments in an Emerging Field
Book by Mauro F. Guillen (Editor).