Principles of Economic Sociology

Princeton University Press
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The last fifteen years have witnessed an explosion in the popularity, creativity, and productiveness of economic sociology, an approach that traces its roots back to Max Weber. This important new text offers a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of economic sociology. It also advances the field theoretically by highlighting, in one analysis, the crucial economic roles of both interests and social relations.

Richard Swedberg describes the field's critical insights into economic life, giving particular attention to the effects of culture on economic phenomena and the ways that economic actions are embedded in social structures. He examines the full range of economic institutions and explicates the relationship of the economy to politics, law, culture, and gender. Swedberg notes that sociologists too often fail to properly emphasize the role that self-interested behavior plays in economic decisions, while economists frequently underestimate the importance of social relations. Thus, he argues that the next major task for economic sociology is to develop a theoretical and empirical understanding of how interests and social relations work in combination to affect economic action. Written by an author whose name is synonymous with economic sociology, this text constitutes a sorely needed advanced synthesis--and a blueprint for the future of this burgeoning field.

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About the author

Richard Swedberg is Professor of Sociology at Cornell University, where he co-directs its Center for the Study of Economy and Society. He is the author of Max Weber and the Idea of Economic Sociology (Princeton) as well as co-editor of The Handbook of Economic Sociology (both Princeton).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Oct 8, 2009
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781400829378
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Since the mid-1980s, as public discourse has focused increasingly on the troubled economy, many social scientists have argued the need for more analysis of the social relationships that undergird economic life. The original essays in Explorations in Economic Sociology represent the most important work in this renewed field and employ a rich variety of research methods—theoretical, ethnographic, and historical—to illustrate its key concerns.

Explorations in Economic Sociology forges innovative social theories of such economic institutions as money, markets, and industry. Although traditional economists have identified markets as driven solely by the forces of supply and demand, social factors frequently intervene. Sales at auction are determined not simply by a seller's personal knowledge of customers. Shareholder attitudes and employee organization influence everything from the way firms borrow money to the way corporate performance is measured. Firms themselves operate in social networks in which trust is a crucial factor in settling the terms for cooperation or competition.

Throughout the essays in this volume, the contributors point the way to developing a more healthy economy by fostering productive industrial networks, avoiding disintegration at management levels, and anticipating the consequences of the shift from manufacturing to service industries. Explorations in Economic Sociology is a pioneering work that bridges the gap between social theory and economic analysis and demonstrates the importance of this union in achieving an effective understanding of economic issues. The book should stimulate new interest in economic sociology by bringing together many of its most fundamental voices.

Richard Swedberg
Since the mid-1980s, as public discourse has focused increasingly on the troubled economy, many social scientists have argued the need for more analysis of the social relationships that undergird economic life. The original essays in Explorations in Economic Sociology represent the most important work in this renewed field and employ a rich variety of research methods—theoretical, ethnographic, and historical—to illustrate its key concerns.

Explorations in Economic Sociology forges innovative social theories of such economic institutions as money, markets, and industry. Although traditional economists have identified markets as driven solely by the forces of supply and demand, social factors frequently intervene. Sales at auction are determined not simply by a seller's personal knowledge of customers. Shareholder attitudes and employee organization influence everything from the way firms borrow money to the way corporate performance is measured. Firms themselves operate in social networks in which trust is a crucial factor in settling the terms for cooperation or competition.

Throughout the essays in this volume, the contributors point the way to developing a more healthy economy by fostering productive industrial networks, avoiding disintegration at management levels, and anticipating the consequences of the shift from manufacturing to service industries. Explorations in Economic Sociology is a pioneering work that bridges the gap between social theory and economic analysis and demonstrates the importance of this union in achieving an effective understanding of economic issues. The book should stimulate new interest in economic sociology by bringing together many of its most fundamental voices.

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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
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