Review essay: Prospects for economic sociology

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (1):133-149 (2008)
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Swedberg's two-volume collection of essays covering New Developments in Economic Sociology contains some excellent material, worthy of study by both economists and sociologists. However, there are definitional and conceptual problems in the whole project of "economic sociology" exacerbated by the disappearance of any consensus concerning the boundaries between the disciplines of sociology and economics. Neither has "economic sociology" acquired an adequately clear identity through the use of distinctive concepts or theories. Its future prospects are further questioned by recent changes within economics itself, including greater attention to institutional structures, and the abandonment of strictly self-interested and context-independent rationality. Key Words: economic sociology • economics • disciplinary boundaries • social sciences.



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