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Book part
Publication date: 12 February 2013

Manu Goswami

This essay seeks to extend the original gambit of this forum, of thinking possible modes of postcolonial sociology, unto a more relational terrain. It takes as its point…

Abstract

This essay seeks to extend the original gambit of this forum, of thinking possible modes of postcolonial sociology, unto a more relational terrain. It takes as its point of departure the vexed status of history in sociology and the hermeneutic suspicion of comparison in postcolonial theory. Any potential rapprochement between postcolonial theory and sociology must engage with the deeply incongruent status of history and comparison across these fields. I attempt to bridge this divide historically by revisiting an anti-imperial internationalist sociology forged in interwar colonial India. I seek thereby to show what Pierre Bourdieu called a “particular case of the possible” and to participate in ongoing efforts to “provincialize” sociology.

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Postcolonial Sociology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-603-3

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Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2019

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The Interaction Order
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-546-7

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Michael Lounsbury and Paul M. Hirsch

Our volume is comprised of six sections: (1) the crisis; (2) its similarities to, and differences from being a “normal accident;” (3) sociological and historical…

Abstract

Our volume is comprised of six sections: (1) the crisis; (2) its similarities to, and differences from being a “normal accident;” (3) sociological and historical explanations for the meltdown; (4) analyses of comparable speculative bubbles and business cycles; (5) international parallels and consequences; (6) analysis of how we might approach the future development of society and economy; and also a section of postscripts for looking ahead to future policy and prevention. Each contribution addresses its main topic, and concludes with practical policy recommendations for a better future.

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Markets on Trial: The Economic Sociology of the U.S. Financial Crisis: Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-205-1

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Michael Lounsbury and Paul M. Hirsch

Our volume is comprised of six sections: (1) the crisis; (2) its similarities to, and differences from being a “normal accident;” (3) sociological and historical…

Abstract

Our volume is comprised of six sections: (1) the crisis; (2) its similarities to, and differences from being a “normal accident;” (3) sociological and historical explanations for the meltdown; (4) analyses of comparable speculative bubbles and business cycles; (5) international parallels and consequences; (6) analysis of how we might approach the future development of society and economy; and also a section of postscripts for looking ahead to future policy and prevention. Each contribution addresses its main topic, and concludes with practical policy recommendations for a better future.

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Markets on Trial: The Economic Sociology of the U.S. Financial Crisis: Part B
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-208-2

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Book part
Publication date: 19 May 2009

Rina Agarwala

Purpose – This chapter illustrates how an economic sociology of work exposes the deeply embedded nature of the informal economy and the social and political lives of its…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter illustrates how an economic sociology of work exposes the deeply embedded nature of the informal economy and the social and political lives of its growing mass of unprotected workers under globalization. In particular, the premises of economic sociology offer a comprehensive definition of the informal economy that I term, “relational.” In contrast to definitions based on modernization and neoliberal assumptions of isolated economies, relational definitions of the informal economy expose the structures, networks, and political institutions that intertwine informal workers with the formal economy, society, and the state. Operationalizing the relational definition in labor surveys ensures the inclusion of previously invisible informal workers, especially those who operate at the intersection of the informal and formal economy. As well, it ensures the collection of data on the precise ways in which informal workers are socially and politically embedded, including their collective action efforts, the meaning they attach to their labor, and the social networks that determine their life chances.

Methodology – To illustrate this point, I apply a relational definition of informal labor to the case of India, using the National Sample Survey on Employment and Unemployment, as well as findings from interviews with organized informal workers.

Findings – By doing so, I provide an internationally comparative measure of India's informal workforce, illustrate informal workers’ social conditions relative to those of formal workers, highlight the expansion of the informal workforce since the government enacted liberalization reforms, and expose the unique political action strategies Indian informal workers are launching against the state.

Implications/Originality – These findings help us understand Indian informal workers in an internationally comparative context, yielding empirical insights on their social conditions and political organizations for the first time. As well, they call for an important refinement to existing definitions of the informal economy that to date have relied only on Latin American and African experiences.

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Economic Sociology of Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-368-2

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Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2019

Arthur McLuhan and Antony Puddephatt

A common charge against qualitative researchers in general and interactionist researchers in particular is that they produce descriptive, a-theoretical accounts of group…

Abstract

A common charge against qualitative researchers in general and interactionist researchers in particular is that they produce descriptive, a-theoretical accounts of group life. We consider the problem of “analytic interruptus” in contemporary symbolic interactionism – that is, a failure to move beyond analyses of individual cases – and offer a potential to a solution via the pursuit of a generic social process (GSP) research agenda. A GSP approach involves developing, assessing, and revising concepts from the close scrutiny of empirical instances across diverse contexts. By considering criticisms of GSPs from feminist and postmodernist scholars, a more informed, qualified, and better-situated approach to the framework becomes possible. We argue that GSPs remain a quintessential analytical tool to explore subcultural realities and build formal theories of the social world.

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Book part
Publication date: 5 February 2019

Christopher J. Schneider

In this keynote address, I use Georg Simmel’s sociology of social forms approach to amend Erving Goffman’s interaction order perspective into a contemporary analytical…

Abstract

In this keynote address, I use Georg Simmel’s sociology of social forms approach to amend Erving Goffman’s interaction order perspective into a contemporary analytical framework for empirical analysis of everyday life in our twenty-first century mediated social order. For Goffman, the interaction order provides a foundational basis for social order. As a cornerstone of the human condition, Goffman maintained that most of us spend our daily lives in the direct presence of others. However, rapid advancements in interactive media formats in the last few decades have given rise to an unprecedented twenty-first century interaction order. Many of us now also spend our everyday lives in the mediated presence of others, the effects of which parallel those of face-to-face interaction in importance. These changes, I contend, provide a necessary occasion to reimagine Goffman’s interaction order. In what follows, I first provide a brief synopsis of Goffman’s interaction order. Next, I outline the twenty-first century interaction order and illustrate the importance of Simmel’s formal sociology in amending Goffman’s original framework in relation to this unforeseen order. Finally, to highlight a few key points – I incorporate empirical examples from my work as it relates to police legitimacy. I conclude with some suggestions for future research and note a few limitations.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Joshua Woods and Vladimir Shlapentokh

This article investigates the possibility of studying modern organizations with the feudal model. We introduce feudalism as an ideal type and explain why it is necessary…

Abstract

This article investigates the possibility of studying modern organizations with the feudal model. We introduce feudalism as an ideal type and explain why it is necessary for understanding organizations. The model synthesizes several perspectives on intra-organizational conflict. After defining the feudal model and tracing its theoretical roots, we review several empirical studies to identify the conditions under which feudal conflicts arise. These factors include decentralization, structural interdependence, uncertainty and informal power. The feudal model highlights several overlooked aspects of organizations, including personal relations, the manipulation of formal rules, bribery, corruption and sabotage. However, given the model's limitations, we propose a “segmented approach” to social analysis, which emphasizes the need for multiple models to explain any organization, past or present.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 28 March 2015

Thomas D. Beamish and Nicole Woolsey Biggart

Following Philip Selznick’s lead in using pragmatist social science to understand issues of public concern we conducted a study of failed innovation in the commercial…

Abstract

Following Philip Selznick’s lead in using pragmatist social science to understand issues of public concern we conducted a study of failed innovation in the commercial construction industry (CCI). We find that social heuristics – collectively constructed and maintained interpretive decision-making frames – significantly shape economic and non-economic decision-making practices. Social heuristics are the outcome of industry-based “institutionalization processes” and are widely held and commonly relied on in CCI to reduce uncertainty endemic to decision-making; they provide actors with both a priori and ex post facto justifications for economic decisions that appear socially rational to industry co-participants. In the CCI – a project-centered production network – social heuristics as shared institutions sustain network-based social order but in so doing discourage novel technologies and impede innovation. Social heuristics are actor-level constructs that reflect macro-level institutional arrangements and networked production relations. The concept of social heuristics offers the promise of developing a genuinely social theory of individual economic choice and action that is historically informed, contextually situated, and neither psychologically nor structurally reductionist.

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Institutions and Ideals: Philip Selznick’s Legacy for Organizational Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-726-0

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