With only a few exceptions, economic sociology scholarship remains almost silent about illegality and crime in the economy. The implicit premise in the literature on…
With only a few exceptions, economic sociology scholarship remains almost silent about illegality and crime in the economy. The implicit premise in the literature on market sociology is that institutional structures and exchanges taking place in markets are law abiding in nature. As a consequence of this legality bias the study of morality in markets has so far only addressed commodities – like human organs, gambling, drugs, alcohol, or tobacco – whose legal status depends on broad social agreements and has excluded markets whose workings are dependent on formally legitimized institutions like property rights, trademark laws, or copyrights. Drawing on seven months of ethnographic research, this chapter addresses the phenomenon of emerging moral justifications in the context of a marketplace for counterfeit and sweatshop-produced garments. In line with Anteby’s proposal on a “practice-based view of moral markets,” it argues that despite the broad moral consensus around trademark laws and the absence of professionals who advocate for legalization, moral justifications views arise from rising aspirations in such illegal markets. The case expands existing understandings of morality and contestation in economic sociology literature and shows its relevance in the context of recent academic scholarship on perceptions of the future as a source of moral justification of market exchanges.
To demonstrate how awareness of Neo-Marxist critical theory and Neo-Weberian comparative–historical sociology would have been beneficial to U.S. policy planners and…
To demonstrate how awareness of Neo-Marxist critical theory and Neo-Weberian comparative–historical sociology would have been beneficial to U.S. policy planners and decision-makers, especially Presidents.
This study employs qualitative analysis of available sources rather than quantitative data analysis.
Based on its practical application to a specific historical instance, the heuristic value of Max Weber’s ideal-type model of traditional authority (Herrschaft [domination]) is confirmed, as it is apparent that Henry Kissinger’s interpretation of the meaning of Realpolitik harmed U.S. foreign policy.
There is an imminent need to be critical of claims to expertise by advisors of major decision-makers. The practical relevance of possessing an adequate grasp of a given situation as the context in which actors must make choices is evident, as applies with regard to the current crises facing the world, which must be approached and addressed as scrupulously as possible.
Prevailing critiques of Kissinger and American foreign policy have tended to accept the premise that Kissinger was well-informed and giving good advice based on extensive and appropriate scholarship. That was not the case in Vietnam, in Indonesia, or in other regions. There are no available studies that examine Kissinger’s Eurocentric and limited perspective in light of critical theory and comparative–historical sociology.
In this paper, I demonstrate an alternative explanation to the development of the American electricity industry. I propose a social embeddedness approach (Granovetter…
In this paper, I demonstrate an alternative explanation to the development of the American electricity industry. I propose a social embeddedness approach (Granovetter, 1985, 1992) to interpret why the American electricity industry appears the way it does today, and start by addressing the following questions: Why is the generating dynamo located in well‐connected central stations rather than in isolated stations? Why does not every manufacturing firm, hospital, school, or even household operate its own generating equipment? Why do we use incandescent lamps rather than arc lamps or gas lamps for lighting? At the end of the nineteenth century, the first era of the electricity industry, all these technical as well as organizational forms were indeed possible alternatives. The centralized systems we see today comprise integrated, urban, central station firms which produce and sell electricity to users within a monopolized territory. Yet there were visions of a more decentralized electricity industry. For instance, a geographically decentralized system might have dispersed small systems based around an isolated or neighborhood generating dynamo; or a functionally decentralized system which included firms solely generating and transmitting the power, and selling the power to locally‐owned distribution firms (McGuire, Granovetter, and Schwartz, forthcoming). Similarly, the incandescent lamp was not the only illuminating device available at that time. The arc lamp was more suitable for large‐space lighting than incandescent lamps; and the second‐generation gas lamp ‐ Welsbach mantle lamp ‐ was much cheaper than the incandescent electric light and nearly as good in quality (Passer, 1953:196–197).
The purpose of this paper is to analyze data from the first-ever national-level study of informal work in the USA to test two prominent points of focus in the literature…
The purpose of this paper is to analyze data from the first-ever national-level study of informal work in the USA to test two prominent points of focus in the literature: how participation in informal work relates to social embeddedness and formal labor supply. This paper also provides a comparative test of the factors associated with exchange-based informal work (i.e. money/barter) vs self-provisioning activities.
The study draws on data from a national-level household telephone survey and uses descriptive statistics and logistic regression models.
The data show that participation in the informal economy is widespread in the USA. Consistent with theory, it is found that measures of social embeddedness and formal labor supply are much more salient for predicting participation in informal work for money/barter compared to self-provisioning.
Drawing on unique data from the first national-level household survey of informal work in the USA, this study provides generalizable support for the contention that the informal sector stands as a persistent structural feature in modern society. The results build on the wealth of information produced by qualitative case studies examining informal economic activity as well as a smaller number of regionally targeted surveys to provide important theoretical insights.
Dobbin and Zorn discuss the role that the rise of shareholder value has played in the behavior that led to the corporate scandals from 2001 and onwards, and they also…
Dobbin and Zorn discuss the role that the rise of shareholder value has played in the behavior that led to the corporate scandals from 2001 and onwards, and they also discuss the link between the notion of shareholder value and malfeasance more generally. Their basic argument is that there is a distinct tendency for corporations that are operated according to the principles of shareholder value to engage in corrupt behavior. More precisely, in an attempt to live up to securities analysts’ predictions, they will falsify the books. Attempts to stop this type of behavior through legal means, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, will not succeed since they do not eliminate the main reasons why the books are cooked in the first place.
New institutionalisms in economic and organizational sociology need grounding in theories of capitalism. Comparative studies show that multiple, viable forms of capitalism…
New institutionalisms in economic and organizational sociology need grounding in theories of capitalism. Comparative studies show that multiple, viable forms of capitalism have been constructed through the interplay of institutions, mobilizations of political power, and state policies. Further theoretical development requires attention to the contradictions of capitalism. Promising theoretical sources for this task are examined. The political process produces new forms of capitalist institutions, but contradictions built into those institutions cannot be fully resolved and provide the basis for new acts of social construction and power mobilization. The power and cultural arguments of the comparative institutionalists are joined, at least in aspiration, to theories of capitalist contradictions.
The conception of markets as interfaces connecting semi-autonomous systems of producers and customers has led to an extensive use of social network analysis. So far, the…
The conception of markets as interfaces connecting semi-autonomous systems of producers and customers has led to an extensive use of social network analysis. So far, the network focus has been on connections among people, paying less attention to the crucial role played by connections between cultural elements (e.g., concepts, representations, ideas) in the way markets are formed and sustained. Such connections constitute “semantic networks” and are the focus of the present article. We attend to them by developing a network view of the cultural dimension of markets and apply it in an empirical setting where culture plays a crucial role – luxury watchmaking – to illustrate the impact of market semantic networks on a major outcome: price.