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The paper argues in favor of reestablishing sociological or social economics as a legitimate discipline of economic science. Conspires toward undertaking analyses of the…
The paper argues in favor of reestablishing sociological or social economics as a legitimate discipline of economic science. Conspires toward undertaking analyses of the social co‐determination of economic behaviors, variables and systems. Suggests the need for incorporation of sociological/social economics in the existing semi‐official (JEL) taxonomy of economic fields and subjects. The argument for sociological economics can be made on two grounds: ontological or empirical‐historical and epistemological or theoretical‐methodological ones. The article bases the argument for sociological economics on the former, i.e., the empirical‐historical social co‐determination of the economy. The relations of sociological economics to sociology of economics are specified and the implications of sociological/social economics for modern economic science are also discussed.
A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…
A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.
Economics and sociology are two different theoretical disciplines dealing with one and the same subject. The aim of the paper is to integrate the two paradigms into one…
Economics and sociology are two different theoretical disciplines dealing with one and the same subject. The aim of the paper is to integrate the two paradigms into one framework of interpretation and analysis.
Economics is presented as a science that approaches human behaviour being subject to the omni‐present phenomenon of scarcity, assuming rationality and social independence of human actors. Sociology is presented as a science that interprets human behaviour as group behaviour. Groups are motivated to rank one another in terms of status. Integration must take place by relating the two analyses based on these paradigms.
The basic economic framework is about the relationship between preferences and scarce resources, determining the structure of allocation of goods. The basic sociological framework is about the relationship between the distribution of socially valued goods and the culture that gives goods their social meaning. A socio‐economic framework is about the relation between allocation, distribution, culture and preferences.
When applying the socio‐economic framework to real‐life phenomena both the economic and the social motives play a role in the explanation, which is not the case in applied economics and applied sociology.
Despite the existence of a variety of approaches to the understanding of behavioral and managerial ethics in organizations and business relationships generally, knowledge…
Despite the existence of a variety of approaches to the understanding of behavioral and managerial ethics in organizations and business relationships generally, knowledge of organizing systems for fidelity remains in its infancy. We use halakha, or Jewish law, as a model, together with the literature in sociology, economic anthropology, and economics on what it termed “middleman minorities,” and on what we have termed the Landa Problem, the problem of identifying a trustworthy economic exchange partner, to explore this issue.
The article contrasts the differing explanations for trustworthy behavior in these literatures, focusing on the widely referenced work of Avner Greif on the Jewish Maghribi merchants of the eleventh century. We challenge Greif’s argument that cheating among the Magribi was managed chiefly via a rational, self-interested reputational sanctioning system in the closed group of traders. Greif largely ignores a more compelling if potentially complementary argument, which we believe also finds support among the documentary evidence of the Cairo Geniza as reported by Goitein: that the behavior of the Maghribi reflected their deep beliefs and commitment to Jewish law, halakha.
Applying insights from this analysis, we present an explicit theory of heroic marginality, the production of extreme precautionary behaviors to ensure service to the principal.
Generalizing from the case of halakha, the article proposes the construct of a deep code, identifying five defining characteristics of such a code, and suggests that deep codes may act as facilitators of compliance. We also offer speculation on design features employing deep codes that may increase the likelihood of production of behaviors consistent with terminal values of the community.
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.
Ideas regarding the basic character of humanity assume importance wherever people interact with one another — from the family to the political state, to the business…
Ideas regarding the basic character of humanity assume importance wherever people interact with one another — from the family to the political state, to the business enterprise. These conceptions, ranging from pessimism to optimism, from notions that evil, predatory competition on the one hand to goodness, co‐ operation and virtue on the other characterise the intrinsic disposition of people, derive from the culture to which the individual belongs, moulding his values and conditioning his behaviour. They not only affect the quality of human relations present in any collectivity, but exercise critical influence on the theories and practices of social control. The understanding of a range of social parameters is considerably enhanced when viewed from the perspective of prevailing cultural ideas about human nature itself.
This article starts from the assumption that economic sociology, including Karl Polanyi’s work, can contribute fresh perspectives to regulation debates because it opens up new understandings of the nature of economic activity, a key target of legal regulation. In particular this article examines Polanyi’s idea that society drives regulation. For Polanyi the “regulatory counter-movement” is society’s response to the disembedding – in particular through the proliferation of markets – of economic out of social relationships. Section One of the article identifies three key challenges that arise from this Polanyian take on regulation for contemporary regulation researchers. First, Polanyi focuses on social norms restraining business behavior, but neglects social norms embedded in law as also shaping regulation. Second, he seems to imply a clear-cut conceptual distinction between “economy” and “society.” Third, his analysis sidelines the role of interest politics in the development of regulation.
Addressing the first of these three key challenges, Section Two of this article therefore argues that a Polanyian vision of “socialized” legal regulation should build on contemporary accounts of responsive law and regulation, which focus attention on social norms informing legal regulation. Section Three of this article tackles the second key challenge raised by Polanyi’s work for contemporary regulation researchers, that is, how to transcend a modernist perspective of “economy” and “society” as clearly demarcated, distinct fields of social action. It argues that discourse theory is an important alternative theoretical resource. Drawing on Laclau and Mouffe, the article suggests that understanding “economy” and “society” as performed by open and relationally constructed discourses helps to capture interconnections between “economy” and “society” that become particularly visible when we analyze how specific regulatory regimes work at a medium- and small-scale level. These points are further brought to life in Section Four through a discussion of the European Union (EU) regulatory regime for trade in risky, transgenic agricultural products, and in particular the current reform debates about the consideration of the “socioeconomic impacts” of such products.
Legal intermediation is an emerging theoretical concept developed to grasp the importance of the process and actors who contribute to legal endogenization, in particular…
Legal intermediation is an emerging theoretical concept developed to grasp the importance of the process and actors who contribute to legal endogenization, in particular in the field of economic activities and work governed by various public regulations. This chapter proposes to extend the analytical category of legal intermediary to all actors who, even if they are not legal professionals, deal on a daily basis with legal categories and provisions. In order to deepen our understanding of these actors and their contribution to how organizations frame legality, this chapter investigates four examples of legal intermediaries who are not legal professionals. Based on field surveys conducted over the past 15 years in France on employment policy, industrial relations, occupational health and safety regulation, and forensic economics, I make three contributions. First, the cases show the diversity of legal intermediaries and their growing and increasingly reflexive roles in our complex economies. Second, while they are not legal professionals per se, to different degrees, these legal intermediaries assume roles similar to those of legal professionals such as legislators, judges, lawyers, inspectors, cops, and even clerks. Finally, depending on their level of legitimacy and power, I show how legal intermediaries take part in the process of legal endogenization and how they more broadly frame ordinary legality.
Purpose – To use insights from economic sociology to analyze how U.S. employment law understands and regulates the relationship between prison labor and conventional…
Purpose – To use insights from economic sociology to analyze how U.S. employment law understands and regulates the relationship between prison labor and conventional employment.
Methodology – Legal analysis of all published court opinions deciding whether federal employment laws such as the minimum wage apply to prison labor.
Findings – Courts decide whether prison labor is an “employment relationship” by deciding whether it is an “economic” relationship. Most interpret prison labor as noneconomic because they locate it in a nonmarket sphere of penal relationships. A minority of courts use a different conception of the economy, one which interprets prison labor as a form of nonmarket work.
Implications – The economic character of prison labor may be articulated using the same theoretical perspectives and analytical techniques developed to analyze family labor as economically significant nonmarket work. Doing so, however, too readily accepts the market/nonmarket distinction. Given the thoroughly social character of market work, prison labor's highly structured, institutionally specific character does not preclude characterizing it as market work, and some of its features support interpreting it as such.
In this legal context, identifying practices as economic or not, and as market or not, has concrete consequences for the actors themselves. Rather than using market/nonmarket distinctions as analytical tools, scholars might treat actors' designation of an economic practice as part of a market or not as a site of conflict, subject to institutionalization, and worthy of sociological study.