International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology

Routledge
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The International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology is the first encyclopedia in the field and a timely response to the surge of interest in economic sociology over the last 30 years.

Economic Sociology deals with the multiple and complex relations between economy and society. In particular, it focuses on the impact of social, political and cultural factors on economic behaviour. The Encyclopedia gives comprehensive and accessible coverage of the wide range of areas and subjects covered by the field, including, amongst many others, such major topics as consumption, corruption, democracy and economy, ecology, embeddedness, gender and economy, globalization, industrial relations, law and economy, markets, organization theory, political economy, religion and economic life, social capital, the sociology of money, state and economy, trust, and work.

The International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology is the much-needed major reference work on one of the richest areas of development in the social sciences in recent years. It is an extremely valuable new resource for students and researchers in sociology, economics, political science, and business, organization and management studies.

Entries are cross-referenced and carry compact bibliographies. There is a full index.

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About the author

Jens Beckert is a director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany. His books include "Beyond the Market: The Social Foundation of Economic Sociology" (Princeton).

MILAN ZAFIROVSKI is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Texas in Denton. His research interests include economic sociology, social theory, and social inequality. He serves on the Editorial Board of the "American Journal of Economics and Sociology" and is the author of "Exchange, Action, and Social Structure: Elements of Economic Sociology" (Greenwood Press, 2001).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Feb 1, 2013
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Pages
778
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ISBN
9781136777776
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / General
Reference / Encyclopedias
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Beyond the Market launches a sociological investigation into economic efficiency. Prevailing economic theory, which explains efficiency using formalized rational choice models, often simplifies human behavior to the point of distortion. Jens Beckert finds such theory to be particularly weak in explaining such crucial forms of economic behavior as cooperation, innovation, and action under conditions of uncertainty--phenomena he identifies as the proper starting point for a sociology of economic action.

Beckert levels an enlightened critique at neoclassical economics, arguing that understanding efficiency requires looking well beyond the market to the social, cultural, political, and cognitive factors that influence the coordination of economic action. Beckert searches social theory for the components of an alternative theory of action, one that accounts for the social embedding of economic behavior. In Durkheim and Parsons he finds especially useful approaches to cooperation; in Luhmann, a way to understand how people act under highly contingent conditions; and in Giddens, an understanding of creative action and innovation. Together, these provide building blocks for a research program that will yield a theoretically sophisticated understanding of how economic processes are coordinated and the ways that markets are embedded in social, cultural, and cognitive structures.


Containing one of the most fully informed critiques of the neoclassical analysis of economic efficiency--as well as one of the most thoughtful blueprints for economic sociology--this book reclaims for sociology the study of one of the most important arenas of human action.

The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition is the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of economic sociology available. The first edition, copublished in 1994 by Princeton University Press and the Russell Sage Foundation as a synthesis of the burgeoning field of economic sociology, soon established itself as the definitive presentation of the field, and has been widely read, reviewed, and adopted. Since then, the field of economic sociology has continued to grow by leaps and bounds and to move into new theoretical and empirical territory.

The second edition, while being as all-embracing in its coverage as the first edition, represents a wholesale revamping. Neil Smelser and Richard Swedberg have kept the main overall framework intact, but nearly two-thirds of the chapters are new or have new authors. As in the first edition, they bring together leading sociologists as well as representatives of other social sciences. But the thirty chapters of this volume incorporate many substantial thematic changes and new lines of research--for example, more focus on international and global concerns, chapters on institutional analysis, the transition from socialist economies, organization and networks, and the economic sociology of the ancient world. The Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition is the definitive resource on what continues to be one of the leading edges of sociology and one of its most important interdisciplinary adventures. It is a must read for all faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates doing work in the field.


A thoroughly revised and updated version of the most comprehensive treatment of economic sociology available
Almost two-thirds of the chapters are new or have new authors
Authors include leading sociologists as well as representatives of other social sciences
Substantial thematic changes and new lines of research, including more focus on international and global concerns, institutional analysis, the transition from socialist economies, and organization and networks
The definitive resource on what continues to be one of the leading edges of sociology and one of its most important interdisciplinary adventures
A must read for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates doing work in the field

Clignet's analysis of inheritance patterns in modern America is the first sustained treatment of the subject by a sociologist. Clignet shows that even today inheritance serves to perpetuate both familial wealth and familial relations. He examines what leads decedents to chose particular legal instruments (wills, trusts, insurance policies, gifts inter vivos) and how, in turn, the instrument chosen helps explain the extent and the form of inequalities in bequests, of a result of the gender or matrimonial status of the beneficiaries. The author's major is to identify and explain the most significant sources of variations in the amount and the direction of transfers of wealth after death in the United States. He uses two kinds of primary data: estate tax returns filed by a sample of male and female beneficiaries to estates in 1920 and 1944, representing two successive generations of estate transfers, and publicly recorded legal instruments such as wills and trusts. In addition, Clignet draws widely on secondary sources in the fields of anthropology, economics, and history. His findings reflect substantive and methodological concerns. The analysis underlines the need to rethink the sociology of generational bonds, as it is informed by age and gender. Death, Deeds, and Descendants underscores the variety of forms of inequality that bequests take and highlights the complexity of interrelations between the cultures of the decedents' nationalities and issues like occupation and gender. Inheritance is viewed as a way of illuminating the subtle tensions between continuity and change in American society. This book is an important contribution to the study of the relationship between sociology of the family and sociology of social stratification.
How can we engage in a market relationship when the quality of the goods we want to acquire is unknown, invisible, or uncertain? For market exchange to be possible, purchasers and suppliers of goods must be able to assess the quality of a product in relation to other products. Only by recognizing qualities and perceiving quality differences can purchasers make non-random choices, and price differences between goods be justified. "Quality" is not a natural given, but the outcome of a social process in which products become seen as possessing certain traits, and occupying a specific position in relation to other products in the product space. While we normally take the quality of goods for granted, quality at a closer look is the outcome of a highly complex process of construction involving producers, consumers, and market intermediaries engaged in judgment, evaluation, categorization, and measurement. The authors in this volume investigate the processes through which the quality of goods is established. They also investigate how product qualities are contested and how they change over time. The empirical cases discussed cover a broad range of markets in which quality is especially difficult to assess. The cases include: halal food, funeral markets, wine, labor, school choice, financial products, antiques, and counterfeit goods. The book contributes to the sociology of markets. At the same time it connects to the larger issue of the constitution of social order through cognitive processes of classification.
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