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Readings in Economic Sociology

Nicole Woolsey Biggart (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-631-22861-5 February 2002 Wiley-Blackwell 384 Pages


These articles, over thirty in total, reflect the best and latest thought in the exciting field of economic sociology. Beginning with the foundation of Smith, Marx, Engels and Polanyi, the volume gathers some of the best writings by economic sociologists that consider national and world economies as both products and influences of society.

  • Contains over twenty articles by classical and contemporary economic social theorists.
  • Covers important topics on economic action, states, and markets.
  • Includes insightful editorial introductions and further reading suggestions.
List of Contributors.



Part I: Foundational Statements.

1. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith).

2. Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy Selections from the Chapter on capital (Karl Max).

3. Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology (Max Weber).

4. The Great Transformation (Karl Polanyi).

Part II: Economic Action.

5. Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness (Mark Granovetter).

6. Making Markets: Opportunism and restraint on Wall Street (Mitchel Y. Abolafia).

7. Auctions: The Social Construction of Value (Charles Smith).

8. the Structural Sources of Adventurism: The Case of the California Gold Rush (Gary G. Hamilton).

9. The Separative Self: Andocentric Bias in Neoclassical Assumptions (Paula England).

Part III: Capitalist States and Globalizing Markets.

10. Weber's Last Theory of capitalism (Randall Collins).

11. Markets as Politics: A Political-Culture Approach to Market Institutions (Neil Fligstein).

12. Rethinking Capitalism (Fred Block).

13. Developing Difference: Social Organization and the rise of the Auto Industries of South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and Argentina (Nicole Woolsey Biggart and Mauro F. Guillen).

14. Learning from Collaboration: Knowledge and Networks in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries (Walter W. Powell).

Part IV: Economic Culture and the Culture of the Economy.

15. The Forms of Capital (Pierre Bourdieu).

16. Money, Meaning, and Morality (Bruce G. Carruthers and Wendy Nelson Espeland).

17. The Social Meaning of Money (Viviana A. Zelizer).

18. Opposing Ambitions: Gender and Identity in an Alternative Organization (Sherryl Kleinman).

19. Greening the Economy from the Bottom Up? Lessons in Consumption from the Energy Case (Loren Lutzenhiser).


"A superb comprehensive tour of the fast-growing field of economic sociology. This book demonstrates how economic behavior pervades all aspects of social life, and how economic sociologists have revealed the inner workings of a wide range of social, political, and economic phenomena. It admirably serves the double goals of an introduction to the field, as well as an indispensable reference for experts." Wayne Baker, University of Michigan

"The field of economic sociology is a crackling new universe of intellectual energy. It formed out of sociological theory's insightful understanding of how institutions, culture, and networks operate and shape economy and society in ways as sure as gravity affects the movements of the planets. Readings in Economic Sociology is a must read collection of the core articles that chart out this new universe of ideas and their implications for economic action from domestic households to globalization." Brian Uzzi, Northwestern University

  • Contains over twenty articles by classical and contemporary economic social theorists
  • Covers important topics on economic action, states, and markets
  • Includes insightful editorial introductions and further reading suggestions.