SOCG 264 Economic Sociology Graduate Seminar
Office Hours: M 3:00-4:00
Or by appointment
For each week (except for the first one), you have to prepare a 1-2 page memo about the common readings plus one item. This extra item can be from the Commentary and Further Readings list or you can choose anything else you see relevant. You have to send the memo to me the day before we meet. The memo is not a paper or a review, but a set of questions, observations or comments on the readings. Its purpose is to show that you read the text and engaged with its content.
At each seminar, there will be two students who will have lead responsibility for the discussion. At the end of the quarter you will hand in a seminar paper. You will have to meet me during the third week of classes to discuss your paper topic. You will hand in a draft of your paper by May 20. The final version is due during finals week.
on the web (JSTOR or links provided),
in the Geisel Library Reserves,
in the course mailbox in the Sociology mail room,
in the library unless someone borrowed it already
in a book store
Smelser, Neil J. and Richard Swedberg.
2005. Introducing Economic Sociology. In. Smelser and
Swedberg eds, The
Handbook of Economic Sociology, 2nd Edition. Princeton,
2004. The Sociological View of the Economy. Chapter 1. in Dobbin ed, The New Economic Sociology. A Reader.
Commentary and Further
Swedberg, Richard. 1990. Economics and Sociology: Redefining Their Boundaries: Conversations with Economists and Sociologists. Princeton University Press (This is a fun book to read. You get to know some of the main players in economics and economic sociology and they talk about their ideas in a colloquial language and contextualize them within their biography.) RESERVES
Brinton, Mary C. and Victor Nee eds. 1998. The New Institutionalism in Sociology. Russell Sage
Swedberg, Richard. 2003. Principles of Economic Sociology.
Swedberg, Richard. 1991. Major Traditions of Economic Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 17:251-276. (A good historical overview.) JSTOR
Robert J. Shiller. 2008. The Subprime Solution. How Today’s Global Financial Crisis Happened and What to Do about it. Princeton University Press
Rona-Tas, Akos and Stefanie Hiss. 2010. The Role of Ratings in the Subprime Mortgage Crisis: The Art of Corporate and the Science of Consumer Credit Rating. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 30a:115-155
Watch INSIDE JOB available on Netflix or on Youtube (with Spanish subtitles)
Carmen M. Reinhardt and Kenneth Rogoff. 2011.This time is Different. Eight Centuries of Financial Folly. Princeton: Princeton University Press (A historical overview of economic disasters.)
Roger Lowenstein. 2001.When Genius Failed. The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management. New York: Random House (The warning shock that happened in 1998.)
Justin Fox. 2009. The Myth of the Rational Market. A History of Risk, Reward and Delusion on Wall Street. New York: Harper (The rise and fall of the theory behind finance: the efficient market hypothesis.)
Michael Lewis. 2011. The Big Short. Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York: Norton (The guys who made a lot of money betting on the collapse.)
3. (Some of) The Classics
Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book 1 Chapters 1,2, 7, 10 (on line http://www.bibliomania.com/2/1/65/112/frameset.html )
Marx, Karl, Grundrisse: The Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy. The following 3 chapters:
The General Relation of Production to Distribution, Exchange,
The Method of Political Economy.
Weber, Max, Economy and Society. Chapter II. Social Categories of Economic Action. MAILBOX
Elster, Jon. 1986. Making Sense of Marx.
Weber, Objectivity and Understanding in Economics
Collins, Randall. 1980. Weber�s Last Theory of Capitalism. American Sociological Review, 45/6: 925-942. JSTOR
Swedberg, Richard. 1998, Max Weber and the Idea of Economic
Simmel, Georg. The Philosophy of Money. (Weber�s contemporary, Simmel�s is the classic sociological treatment of money.)
Sombart, Werner. The Jews and Modern Capitalism. (Sombart now unfairly forgotten, was one of the most famous scholars of his time. Today few people know about Sombart�s alternative to Weber�s famous thesis on the Protestant ethic.)
Menger, Carl. 1963. Problems of economics and sociology. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, (Menger, Weber�s contemporary, was the leader of the Austrian School of economics and was the protagonist of the Methodenstreit (Battle of the Methods) where analytical, deductive economics split from historical, institutional economics represented there by Gustav von Schmoller of the Historical School).
1995. Strategies of Economic Order :
Nagel, Ernest. 1963. Assumptions in Economic Theory, American Economic Review, 53/2:211-219 (A philosopher weighs in against Friedman�s programmatic essay.) JSTOR
Simon, Herbert and Paul A. Samuelson, Problems of Methodology, Discussion, American Economic Review, 53/2:229-236 (Two, later-to-be Nobelists critique the other later-to-be Nobelist). JSTOR
Blaug, Mark. 1982. The methodology of economics, or, How
Hausman, Daniel M. 1992. The inexact and separate science
1932/1984. An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science.
A. and William D. Nordhaus. 1998. Economics. 16th
Mirowski, Philip. 2002. Machine Dreams. Economics Becomes a
(Deirdre) N. 1985. The Rhetoric of Economics.
Camerer, Colin F., George Lowenstein and Matthew Rabin eds. 2004. Advances in Behavioral Economics. Princeton University Press/Russell Sage (A collection of important articles in behavioral economics all questioning the rationality assumption in mainstream economics.)
Gigerenzer, Gerd and Reinhard Selten eds. 2001. Bounded Rationality. The Adaptive Toolbox. MIT Press
Michael. 2004. Perilous Progress. Economists and the Public Purpose in
Samuelson, Paul and William Barnett eds. 2006. Inside the Economist’s Mind: Conversations with Eminent Economists. Wiley and Sons (A collection of interviews, good stories, entertaining read.)
1957/1992. The Economy as Instituted Process. Pp. 29-52 in Granovetter
and Swedberg eds. The Sociology of Economic Life.
Krippner, Greta. 2001. The Elusive Market: Embeddedness and the Paradigm for Economic Sociology. Theory and Society, 30/6:775-810 JSTOR
Bourdieu, Pierre. The Forms of
Capital. Pp. 280-291 in Nicole Woolsey Biggart ed.
Powell, Walter W. and Laurel
Smith-Doerr. 2005. Networks and Economic Life.
Pp. 379-402 in Smelser and Swedberg
eds. The Handbook of Economic Sociology, 2nd edition.
Burt, Ronald S. 2003. The Social
Capital of Structural Holes. Chapter 7 in Mauro F. Guillen
et al. eds. The New Economic Sociology. Developments
in an Emerging Field. Russell Sage Foundation:
Uzzi, Brian. 1996. The Sources and Consequences of Embeddedness for the Economic Performance of Organizations - The Network Effect. American Sociological Review, AUG, V61(N4):674-698 JSTOR
Granovetter, Mark. 1993. The Nature of Economic Relationship. Pp. 3-41 in Richard Swedberg ed. Explorations in Economic Sociology.� RESERVES
Block, Fred and Margaret Somers. 1984. Beyond the Economistic Fallacy. Pp. 47-84 in Theda Skocpol ed. Vision and Method in Historical Sociology.
Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation. (A classic that develops the argument of embeddedness in the context of 19th century European history.) RESERVES
Mauss, Marcel. 1924/1990. The Gift. The Form and Reason for
Exchange in Archaic Societies.
Sahlins, Marshall D. 1972. Stone Age Economics.
Hirsch, Paul, Stuart Michaels, and Ray Friedman. 1987. "'Dirty Hands versus Clean Models.'" Theory and Society 16:317-336 (A summary of the difference between the dirty hands sociology and the clean model economics.) JSTOR
DiMaggio, Paul and Hugh Louch. 1998. Socially Embedded Consumer Transactions: For What Kinds of Purchases Do People Most Often Use Networks?" American Sociological Review, 63 (October:619-637) (Straightforward elegant piece on when is economic transaction embedded.) JSTOR
Guillen, Mauro F. Randall Collins, Paula England, and
Marshall Meyer. 2003. The Revival of Economic Sociology. Chapter 1 in Mauro F. Guillen et al. eds. The New Economic Sociology.
Developments in an Emerging Field. Russell Sage Foundation:
Ben-Porath, Yoram. 1980. The F-connection. Families, Friends and Firms and the Organization of Exchange. Population and Development Review 6/1:1-30. (One of the first sightings of networks in economics.) JSTOR
Burt, Ronald S. 1992. Structural Holes. The Social Structure of Competition Harvard University Press (An example of how you can take a very simple idea about power and generate a lot of interesting insights.)
Granovetter, Mark. 1973. The Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78:1360-80. (This is a fun piece, explains why superficial acquaintances can be more helpful than trusted friends.) JSTOR
Portes, Alejandro. 1998. Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24:1-24. (An overview that also exposes the downsides of social capital.) JSTOR
Wasserman, Stanley and Katherine
Faust. 1994. Social Network Analysis:
Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo. 2003. Linked. (A Hungarian physicist gives an entertaining and often very sociological introduction to networks.)
Putnam, Robert D. 2001. Bowling Alone. (A classic piece on social capital and how and why we have less of it now than before.)
Portes, Alejandro. 1998. Social Capital: Its Origins and Applications in Modern Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24:1-24 JSTOR
Rauch, James and Alessandra
Casella eds. 2001. Networks and Markets.
Rauch, James and Alessandra
Casella eds. 2001. Networks and Markets.
Beckert, Jens. 1996. What is sociological about economic sociology? Uncertainty and the embeddedness of economic action. Theory and Society, 25 (6), 803-40. JSTOR
Guseva, Alya and Akos Rona-Tas. 2001. Uncertainty, risk and trust: Russian and American credit card markets compared. American Sociological Review, 66 (5), 623-646. JSTOR
Biggart, Nicole W. 2001. Banking on Each Other: The Situational Logic of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations. Advances in Qualitative Organization Research, 3 http://weber.ucsd.edu/~aronatas/conference/Banking_on_each_other.pdf
Greif, Avner, 1989. Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders. The Journal of Economic History, 49/4: 857-882. JSTOR
Knight, Frank H.
(1957), Risk, Uncertainty and Profit,
Bartely, Tim and Marc Schneberg. 2002. Rationality and Institutional Contingency: The varying Politics of Economic Regulation in the Fire Insurance Industry. Sociological Perspectives, 45/1:47-80. JSTOR
Akerlof, George A. 1970. The market for "lemons": Quality, uncertainty and the market mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 84 (3), 488-500. JSTOR (Nobel Prize winning article that started information economics. It is non-technical.) JSTOR
Sabel, Charles (1992), Studied trust: building new forms of
cooperation in a volatile economy. Pp. 215-50 in F. Pyke
and W. Sengenberger (eds), Industrial
Districts and Local Economic Regeneration,
2003. Endogenizing "Animal Spirits": Toward
a Sociology of Collective Response to Uncertainty and Risk. Chapter 4 in Mauro
F. Guillen et al. eds. The New Economic Sociology.
Developments in an Emerging Field. Russell Sage Foundation:
Herbert A. Simon. 1986. Rationality in Psychology and Economics. The Journal of Business, 59/4:S209-S224. (Simon criticizes the questionable behavioral assumptions of economics.) JSTOR
Kahneman, Daniel, Paul Slovic,
and Amos Tversky eds. 1982. Judgment Under
Pixley, Jocelyn. 2004. Emotions in Finance. Distrust and Uncertainty in Global Markets. (Introduces the sociology of emotions to studying how people, like those in finance, deal with uncertainty.)
Williamson, Oliver. 1981. The Economics of Organization: The Transaction Cost Approach. American Journal of Sociology, 87(Nov) 548-77. JSTOR
Meyer, John W. and Brian Rowan. 1977. Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83/2 JSTOR
Fligstein, Neil. 1990. The Transformation of Corporate Control. Harvard Univ. Press RESERVES
and Paul DiMaggio eds. 1991. New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis.
Hamilton, Gary G.
and Nicole Woolsey Biggart. 1988/1992. Market,
Culture, and Authority: A Comparative Analysis of Management and Organization
March, James G.
and Johan P. Olsen. 1976. Ambiguity and Choice in Organizations.
Douglas, Mary. 1986.
How Institutions Think.
1994. Culture and Economy. Pp. 27-57 in Swedberg and Smelser eds. The Handbook of Economic Sociology. Princeton:
Velthuis, Olav. 2003. Symbolic Meanings of Prices:
Constructing the Value of Contemporary Art in
Zelizer, Viviana. 1989. Social Meaning of Money: "Special Monies." The American Journal of Sociology, 95/2:342-377 JSTOR
Fourcade, Marion.2011. Cents and Sensibility: Economic Valuation and the Nature of "Nature." AJS JSTOR
Greif, Avner. 1994. Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society. A historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies. The Journal of Political Economy. 102/5:912-950. (When economists hear culture -and are not reaching for their guns - they reach for Greif.) JSTOR
Abolafia, Mitchel Y. 1996. Making Markets. Opportunism and
Restraint on Wall Street.
Biernacki, Richard. 1995. The Fabrication of Labor:
Albert O. 1977. The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for
Capitalism before Its Triumph. Princeton:
Lampland, Martha. 1995. The Object of
Labor :Commodification in Socialist
Zelizer, Viviana R. Morals and
Markets: The Development of Life Insurance in the
Watson, James L.
ed. 1997. Golden Arches East.
9. Performativity of Economics and Social Construction of Markets
Callon, Michel. 1998. Introduction. In M. Callon ed. The Laws of the Markets.
MacKenzie, Donald. 2007. Is Economics Performative?
Options Theory and the Construction of Derivatives Markets. Chapter 3 in MacKenzie, Muniesa and Siu eds. Do Economists Make Markets.
Garcia-Parpet, Marie-France. 2007. The Social Construction of a
Perfect Market: The Strawberry Auction at Fontaines-en-Sologne. Chapter 2 in MacKenzie, Muniesa and Siu eds. Do
Economists Make Markets.
Frank, Robert H., Thomas Gilovich, and Dennis T. Regan. 1993. Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 6/2:159-171 JSTOR
Yezer, Anthony M., Robert S. Goldfarb, Paul J. Poppen. 1996. Does Studying Economics Discourage Cooperation? Watch What We Do, Not What we Say or How We Play. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10/1:177-186 (This is a defense of economics against Frank et al.) JSTOR
Frank, Robert H., Thomas Gilovich, and Dennis T. Regan. 1993. Does Economics Make Bad Citizens? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 10/1: 187-192 (This is the response to Yezer et al.) JSTOR
2002. Turning Callon the
Mirowski, Philip and Edward Nik-Khah. 2007. Markets Made Flesh: Performativity, and a Problem in Science Studies Augmented with Consideration of the FCC Auctions. Chapter 7 in MacKenzie, Muniesa and Siu eds. Do Economists Make Markets. Princeton University Press (A skeptical look at performativity.) RESERVES
MacKenzie, Donald. An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets (Inside Technology)
Knorr Cetina, Karen and Alex Preda eds.
2006. Sociology of Financial Markets.
David, Paul A. 1986. Understanding the Economics of
QWERTY: The Necessity of History. Pp. 30-49 in Economic History and the Modern
Economist, edited by William N. Parker.
Arthur, W. Brian.
1994. "Positive Feedbacks in the Economy." In Increasing Returns and
Path Dependence in the Economy.
Stan J. Liebowitz and Stephen E. Margolis. 1990. Fable of the Keys. Journal of Law and Economics, 33/1:1-25. (The authors build the argument that David is wrong and the QWERTY keyboard is actually the most efficient and history is unnecessary to explain it.) JSTOR
McGuire, Patrick, Mark Granovetter and Michael Schwartz. 1993. Thomas Edison and the Social Construction of the Early Electricity Industry. Pp.213-246 in Explorations in Economic Sociology (Why do we get our electricity from a central source, like gas, and not generate it in-house, like heat?) MAILBOX
C. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance,
Rona-Tas, Akos. 1998. Social Capital and Path Dependence. Sociology of the Post-communist Economic Transformation. East European Politics and Societies. Winter, 1998 V12(N1):107-131. (A review of the post-communist transition and discussion of some of the mechanisms through which past constrains the future.) MAILBOX
Krugman, Paul. 1994. The Fall and Rise
of Modern Development Economics. In Rodwin and Schon, eds. Rethinking the Development Experience:
Essays Provoked by the Work of Albert O. Hirschman .
Smelser Neil J. and Richard Swedberg
eds., (2005) The Handbook of Economic Sociology. Second Edition. Princeton:
and Richard Swedberg eds., (2005) The Economic
Sociology of Capitalism, Princeton:
ed., (2004) The New Economic Sociology. A Reader. Princeton:
Carruthers, Bruce G. and Sarah L. Babb,
(2000)Economy/Society. Markets, Meanings, and Social Structure.
Guillen, Mauro F., Randall Collins, Paula England, and
Marshall Meyer eds., (2002), The New Economic Sociology. Developments in an
Beckert, Jens and
Granovetter, Mark and Richard Swedberg
eds, (2001), The Sociology of Economic Life.
Biggart, Nicole Woolsey ed., (2002),
Swedberg, Richard, 1990, Economics and Sociology.
Interviews with Gary S. Becker, James S. Coleman et al. Princeton:
Economic Sociology European Electronic Newsletter http://econsoc.mpifg.de/newsletter/newsletter_archive.asp
ASA Economic Sociology Section Newsletter http://www2.asanet.org/sectionecon/newsletter.html
I also recommend the three part BBC documentary The Trap by Adam Curtis. It covers some of the ideas prominent in economic sociology, and although its focus is more political than economic, it re-embeds economics into its social and historical context. It is available in low resolution on the web. Here is Part 1