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.
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).
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 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
The first in-depth, comparative study of the development of inheritance law in the United States, France, and Germany, Inherited Wealth investigates longstanding political and intellectual debates over inheritance laws and explains why these laws still differ so greatly among these countries. Using a sociological perspective, Jens Beckert sheds light on the four most controversial issues in inheritance law during the past two centuries: the freedom to dispose of one's property as one wishes, the rights of family members to the wealth bequeathed, the dissolution of entails (which restrict inheritance to specific classes of heirs), and estate taxation. Beckert shows that while the United States, France, and Germany have all long defended inheritance rights based on the notion of individual property rights, they have justified limitations on inheritance rights in profoundly different ways, reflecting culturally specific ways of understanding the problems of inherited wealth.
This rehabilitation of economic sociology begins with a reconsideration of the character, scope, and development of the field. The author then grounds his sociological approach to economic exchange in social action and structure before examining the role of social motivations in economic exchange. He then examines the political structuration, the cultural constitution, and the social construction of economic exchange and exchange cycles. The book concludes with a discussion of the character and variation of economic exchange in comparative social systems and the relationships of exchange, economic development, and social variables. This unique and persuasive book is an important contribution to the study of economic sociology and sociological theory.