Market, Capital and Culture An Introduction to Economic Sociology fall 2012 / gsoc 6089

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Market, Capital and Culture

An Introduction to Economic Sociology

FALL 2012 / GSOC 6089

Instructor: Eiko Ikegami
Wednesday 4-6 pm

Classroom D913
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the field of economic sociology, and to prepare students to be able to pursue research in this field. The course is run as a participatory seminar. Class members will take turns in leading discussions. The course is designed to encourage class members to come to understand the readings together.

  • Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions

  • Class presentations

  • Four memos on weekly readings; they should be submitted before the assigned class. (2 pages max)

  • Creating a personal handbook of economic sociology (to be explained in class)

  • A final paper

A term paper is the final requirement of the course. The final research paper should be approximately 20 pages in length. Recommended topics will be discussed in the class.
All students are expected to create personal accounts in Second Life.
Books recommended for purchase:

  • Mark Granovetter & Richard Swedberg, eds. The Sociology of Economic Life (2nd edition) Ca

  • Frank Dobbin, ed. The New Economic Sociology, a Reader

Also available in the library and the bookstore:

  • Richard Swedberg, Principle of Economic Sociology

  • Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (1944)

  • Viviana Zelizer, Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children

  • Albert O. Hirschman. The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph

  • Leigh Eric Schmidt, Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays

  • James Watson, ed. Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia

  • Victor Nee & Richard Swedberg, eds. On Capitalism

  • David Stark, The Sense of Dissonance

Library reserve only:

  • Weber, Max. 2001/1930. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Talcott Parsons, trans. New York: Routledge.

  • Durkheim, Émile. 1933. The Division of Labor in Society. George Simpson, trans. New York: Free Press.

  • Braudel, Fernand. 1977. Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

The majority of reading materials in articles are available through the new school blackboard.

Week 1, Aug 29- Introduction: Sociology and Economics

Mark Granovetter & Richard Swedberg, eds. “Introduction” in The Sociology of Economic Life, 2nd edition (hereafter “GS”)

Mark Granovetter, “Economic Action and Social Structure” (in GS Ch. 2)

Richard Swedberg. 1997. “New Economic Sociology: What Has Been Accomplished, What Is Ahead?” Acta Sociologica 40:161-182.

Week 2, Sept 5- Institutions, Embeddedness and Networks

W. Powell and P. DiMaggio. 1991. “Introduction.” In The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pp. 3-45.

John Meyer and Brian Rowan, “Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structures as Myth and Ceremony” in Dobbin, ed. The New Economic Sociology, a Reader (hereafter “Dobbin”)

Mark Granovetter. 1973. “The Strength of Weak Ties” The American Journal of Sociology, 78(6): 1360-1380

Paul Ingram and Karen Clay. 2000. “The Choice-within-Constraints New Institutionalism and Implications for Sociology,” Annual Review of Sociology, 26: 525-546.

Brian Uzzi. 1999. "Embeddedness in the Making of Financial Capital: How Social Relations and Networks Benefit Firms Seeking Financing." American Sociological Review 64(4): 481-505.

Alejandro Portes and Julia Sensenbrenner. 1993. "Embeddedness and Immigration: Notes on the Social Determinants of Economic Action." American Journal of Sociology 98(6): 1320-1350.

Ronald S. Burt. 1992. Chapter 1 in Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition

Douglass C. North. 1991. “Institutions.”  Journal of Economic Perspectives 5(1):  97-112.   

Oliver E. Williamson. 1981. “The Economics of Organization: The Transaction Cost Approach.” American Journal of Sociology 87(3): 548-577

Amartya K. Sen, 1977. “Rational Fools: A Critique of the Behavioral Foundations of Economic Theory.” Philosophy and Public Affairs, 6(4): 317-344.

Week 3, Sept 12 – Institutions, Economy and Weber’s Legacy

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (an excerpt in Dobbin)

Max Weber, “Sociological Categories of Economic Action” in Economy and Society pp 63-211

Richard Swedberg. “Max Weber’s Vision of Economic Sociology” (in GS)

Randall Collins, “Weber’s Last Theory of Capitalism” (in GS Chapter 18)

Paul DiMaggio and Walter Powell, “The Iron Cage Revisited, Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields” (in Dobbin)

*Stephen Innes, “Puritanism and Capitalism in Early Massachusetts”, in John A. James and Mark Thomas ed. Capitalism in Context. U. of Chicago Press. 1994.

Week 4, Sep 19– Theories of Market, Theories of Society: Market, Moral Order and Civilization

Albert O. Hirschman. 1977. The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Tim Newton. 2003. “Credit and Civilization.” The British Journal of Sociology, 54(3): 347-371.

Albert O. Hirschman. 1982. “Rival interpretations of market society: civilizing, destructive, or feeble?” Journal of Economic Literature, 20(4): 1463-1484.

Émile Durkheim. 1933. The Division of Labor in Society, George Simpson, trans. New York: Free Press. (excerpt in Dobbin)

Viviana Zelizer. 1999. “Multiple Markets: Multiple Cultures.” In N. J. Smelser and J. Alexander, eds., Diversity and Its Discontents: Cultural Conflict and Common ground in Contemporary American Society. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Pp. 193-212.

Week 5, Sep 26 (Holiday, No class)
Week 6, Oct 3- Corporations in Comparative Historical Perspectives
Jason Kaufman. 2008. “Corporate Law and the Sovereignty of States” American Sociological Review, 73: 402-425.
“Introduction” for Otto Gierke, Political Theories of the Middle Ages, by Frederic William Maitland Cambridge University Press
Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies. A study in Medieval Political Thought, Princeton UP 1957

Brian Tierney, Foundations of the Conciliar Theory. The Contribution of the Medieval Canonists from Gratian to the Great Schism, CUP 1955 (rep. with a new introduction Brill 1998)
Crone, Patricia 1999. "Weber, Islamic Law, and the Rise of Capitalism." Pp. 247-272 in Max Weber & Islam, edited by Toby E. and Wolfgang Schluchter Huff. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction.

Canning, J.P. 1988. "Law, Sovereignty and Corporation Theory, 1300-1450." Pp. 454-476 in The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought c.350-c.1450, edited by J.H. Burns. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Turner, Bryan S. 1974. "Islam, Capitalism and the Weber Theses." The British Journal of Sociology 25:230-243.
Kuran, Timur 2005. "The Absence of the Corporation in Islamic Law: Origins and Persistence." The American Journal of Comparative Law 53:785-834.
Tripp, Charles 2006. Islam and the Moral Economy: The Challenge of Capitalism. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Long, Qinglan. "Relevancy between Corporations and Clans: Ideologies behind Comparative Law" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Hilton Bonaventure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 27, 2008

The Delictal Responsibility of Medieval Corporations, in: The Law Quarterly Review 64 (1948), pp.77-96 (also in: Walter Ullmann, Scholarship and Politics in the Middle Ages, London, 1978, XII)

Juristic Obstacles to the Emergence of the Concept of the State in the Middle Ages, in: Annali di storia del diritto 13 (1969), pp.43-64 (also in: Walter Ullmann, The Church and the Law in the earlier Middle Ages, London 1975).
Yuwa Wei, Comparative Corporate Governance – A Chinese Perspective ...

Book Review. Yuwa Wei, Comparative Corporate Governance – A Chinese Perspective. (The Hague, Kluwer Law International 2003) 240 pp.
Week 7, Oct 10 – (No Class. The Instructor travels for a Public Lecture)
Week 8, Oct 17 – The Rise of Markets

Karl Polanyi. 1944. The Great Transformation. New York and Toronto: Farrar and Rinehart. 

Clifford Geertz, “The Bazaar Economy” (in GS Ch. 6)

Richard Swedberg. 2004. “Markets in Society.” In Neil Smelser and Richard Swedberg, eds., Handbook of Economic Sociology. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Polanyi, K. Arensberg, C. & Pearson, H., eds. 1957. Trade and Market in the Early Empires: Economies in History and Theory. New York: The Free Press.

Marshall, A. 1890/1961. Principles of Economics: An Introductory Volume. (9th Edition, Macmillan). Full-text can also be accessed on

Mauss, M. 1950/2000. The Gift: The form and reason for exchange in archaic societies. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 

Callon, M. (ed.) 1998. The Laws of the Markets (Sociological Review Monograph). Oxford and Malden: Blackwell Publishers/The Sociological Review.

Carrier, J. 1995. Gifts and Commodities: Exchange and Western Capitalism since 1700 (Material Cultures). London: Routledge.

Cheal, D. 1988. The Gift Economy. London and New York: Routledge.

Gouldner, A. 1960. "The Norm of Reciprocity: A Preliminary Statement.” American Sociological Review, 25(2): 161-178.

Contemporary Theories of Market and Sociological Theories

Neil Fligstein and Luke Dauter. 2007. "The Sociology of Markets." Annual Review of Sociology, 33: 105-128.

Neil Fligstein and Alec Stone Sweet. 2002. "Constructing Polities and Markets: An Institutional Account of European Integration." The American Journal of Sociology, 107(5): 1206-1243.

Pierre Bourdieu. 2001. “The Forms of Capital” (in GS)

Marion Fourcade. 2007. "Theories of Markets and Theories of Society." American Behavioral Scientist, 50(8):1015-1034.

Week 9, Oct 24- Consumption, Culture and Sacred Market

Viviana Zelizer. 2005. “Culture and Consumption.” In N. Smelser and R. Swedberg, eds., Handbook of Economic Sociology, 2nd Edition. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Pp. 331-354.

Kieran Healy. 2004. “Sacred Markets and Secular Ritual in the Organ Transplant Industry.” In Frank Dobbin, ed., The Sociology of the Economy. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Publications. Chapter 12.

Viviana Zelizer. 1985. Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children. New York: Basic Books.

Viviana Zelizer. 1989. "The Social Meaning of Money: Special Monies." The American Journal of Sociology 95(2): 342-377. 

Avner Offer. 1997. “Between the Gift and the Market: The Economy of Regard.” The Economic History Review 50(3): 450-476. 

James Watson, ed. 1997. Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Christian Caryl and Akiko Kashiwagi. 2006. "High Convenience; Late-night shoppers rejoice: Japan's high-tech minimarts are going global." Newsweek [International, July 3 2006]. 

*Thomas W. Laqueur, “Cemeteries, Religion, and the Culture of Capitalism” in John A. James and Mark Thomas ed. Capitalism in Context. U. of Chicago Press. 1994.


Leigh Eric Schmidt. 1995. Consumer Rites: The Buying and Selling of American Holidays. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Sharon Zukin. 1982. Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Week 10, Oct 31- Economy and State

Frank Dobbin, "Why the Economy Reflects Polity: Early Rail Policy in Britain, France and the United States” (in GS)

Timothy Mitchell. 1999. “Society, Economy, and the State Effect.” In George Steinmetz, ed., State/Culture: State-Formation after the Cultural Turn. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Pp. 76-97.

William Roy, “Functional and Historical Logics in Explaining the Rise of the American Industrial Corporations” (in GS.)
Jason Kaufman. 2008. “Corporate Law and the Sovereignty of States” American Sociological Review, 73: 402-425.

Neil Fligstein and Robert Freeland. 1995. "Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives on Corporate Organization." Annual Review of Sociology, 21: 21-43.

Bruce G. Carruthers. “From City of Capital, Politics and Markets in the English Financial Revolution.” (in GS)


Neil Fligstein. 1990. The Transformation of Corporate Control. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Pp. 2-32.

Roy W. 1997. Socializing Capital: The Rise of the Large Industrial Corporation in America.

Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press
Peter Evans. 1995. Embedded Autonomy: States, Firms and Industrial Transformation. Princeton: Princeton University Press

Week 11, Nov 7- Capitalism, Development and the Transformation of Nation-States

Alexander Gerschenkron. “Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective.” (in GS, Ch.4) or Alexander Gershenkron. 1962. Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective. Cambridge, MA: Belknap. Pp. 5-30.

Frenando Henrique Cardoso and Enzo Faletto. 1979. Dependency and Development in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. vii-28.

David Stark. 1996. “Recombinant Property in East European Capitalism.” American Journal of Sociology, 101(4): 993-1027.

David Stark. 1996. “Recombinant Property in East European Capitalism.” American Journal of Sociology, 101(4): 993-1027.
Ronald Dore. “Goodwill and the Spirit of Market Capitalism” (in GS, Ch.20)

Gary Hamilton and Nicole Biggart. “Market, Culture and Authority: A Comparative Analysis of Management and Organization in the Far East” (in GS, Ch.21)

Victor Nee and Sonja Opper. 2007. “On Politicized Capitalism.” In Victor Nee and Richard Swedberg eds., On Capitalism. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Pp. 93-127.

Victor Nee. 1989. "A Theory of Market Transition: From Redistribution to Markets in State Socialism." American Sociological Review 54(5): 663-681. 

Richard Whitely. 1999. Divergent Capitalisms: The Social Structuring and Change of Business Systems. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 31-64.
Eiko Ikegami. 2003. “Military Mobilization and the Transformation of Property Relationships: Wars That Defined the Japanese Style of Capitalism." In Diane E. Davis and Anthony W. Pereira, eds., Irregular Armed Forces and Their Role in Politics and State Formation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


John Campbell. 2004. Institutional Change and Globalization. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Douglass North. 2005.  Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Stark D, Bruszt L. 1998. Postsocialist Pathways: Transforming Politics and Property in East Central

Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press

Week 12, Nov 14-

Trust and Uncertainty

James Coleman. 1990. “Systems of Trust and Their Dynamic Properties.” In Foundations of Social Theory. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Pp. 175-196.

Alan Silver. 1997. "'Two Different Sorts of Commerce' -- Friendship and Strangership in Civil Society." In Jeff Weintraub and Krishan Kumar. eds., Public and Private in Thought and Practice: Perspectives on a Grand Dichotomy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pp.43-76.

Susan Shapiro. 1987. “The Social Control of Impersonal Trust.” American Journal of Sociology, 93(3): 623-658.

Avner Greif. 1993. “Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: The Maghribi Trader’s Coalition.” The American Economic Review 83(3): 525-548.

Avner Greif. 1997. “On the Interrelations and Economic Implications of Economic, Social, Political and Normative Factors: Reflections from Two Late Medieval Societies.” In John N. Drobak and John V. C. Nye, eds. The Frontiers of the New Institutional Economics. San Diego: Academic Press.

Avner Greif. 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: The Maghribi Trader’s Coalition.” The American Economic Review 83(3): 525-548.

Toshio Yamagishi, Karen Cook and Motoki Watabe. 1998. “Uncertainty, Trust, and Commitment Formation in the United States and Japan.” The American Journal of Sociology 104(1): 165-194.

Anthony Pagden. 1988. “The Destruction of Trust and Its Economic Consequences in the Case of Eighteenth-Century Naples.” In Diego Gambetta, ed. Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Craig Muldrew. 1998. The Economy of Obligation: The Culture of Credit and Social Relations in Early Modern England. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Pp. 148-172.

Peter Kollock. 1999. "The Production of Trust in Online Markets." In E. J. Lawlor et al, eds., Advances in Group Processes, Volume 16. New York: Elsevier. Pp. 99–123.

Week 13, Nov 21- Thanksgiving holiday (no class)
Week 14, Nov 28– Student Presentations

Week 15. Dec. 5- Student Presentations
Week 16. Dec. 12- Final papers due

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