Economic Sociology: A Systematic Inquiry (English Edition) –

The Sociological Study Of Economic Activity Has Witnessed A Significant Resurgence Recent Texts Have Chronicled Economic Sociology S Nineteenth Century Origins While Pointing To The Importance Of Context And Power In Economic Life, Yet The Field Lacks A Clear Understanding Of The Role That Concepts At Different Levels Of Abstraction Play In Its Organization Economic Sociology Fills This Critical Gap By Surveying The Current State Of The Field While Advancing A Framework For Further Theoretical Development Alejandro Portes Examines Economic Sociology S Principal Assumptions, Key Explanatory Concepts, And Selected Research Sites He Argues That Economic Activity Is Embedded In Social And Cultural Relations, But Also That Power And The Unintended Consequences Of Rational Purposive Action Must Be Factored In When Seeking To Explain Or Predict Economic Behavior Drawing Upon A Wealth Of Examples, Portes Identifies Three Strategic Sites Of Research The Informal Economy, Ethnic Enclaves, And Transnational Communities And He Eschews Grand Narratives In Favor Of Mid Range Theories That Help Us Understand Specific Kinds Of Social Action The Book Shows How The Meta Assumptions Of Economic Sociology Can Be Transformed, Under Certain Conditions, Into Testable Propositions, And Puts Forward A Theoretical Agenda Aimed At Moving The Field Out Of Its Present Impasse

3 thoughts on “Economic Sociology: A Systematic Inquiry (English Edition)

  1. says:

    Portes tries to provide economic sociology with an original conceptual framework specifying 1 meta theoretical assumptions, 2 causal mechanisms particularly, social capital, institutions, and social class , and 3 specific research sites.It s a good summary of important literature provides helpful critiques e.g., of the overused notion of social capital, and of the tendency to neglect the importance of social class and agenda setting for the field based on a lot of his own previous work, but this is not unreasonable Also a very clear read.Some weaknesses 1 He claims that he adopts a nominalist account of mechanisms, but this is not consistent with his usage i.e., sometimes the mechanisms he alludes to are properties of entities This is clearest in the chapter on social class where he claims he is getting at deep structural causes and uses empirical indicators to develop categories This is getting ontological, baby Which I prefer to nominalism anyway.2 It seems rather restrictive to reduce institutions to usually formal legal blueprints his chapter on enclaves is missing a decent analysis of institutions for this reason.3 His treatment of culture is impoverished I mean, where is Zelizer s oeuvre We re also missing Bourdieu s notions of field and habitus, which are crucial to understanding his treatment of capital.But pretty good overall he s a clear writer and makes these concepts very accessible I recommend pairing this work with Swedberg s Principles of Econ Soc., which covers a lot of turf neglected here but also lacks some of the important work contained here, e.g., on enclaves.

  2. says:

    It is one of the few systematic accounts about this field The author displays a unique and broad view on the topic Important for those who are interested in theory.

  3. says:

    a great book providing new ideas for the perspectives of new economic sociology, especially in responding some traditional economic fields.