408210 VO Market, State, Social Institutions 2

summer semester 2019 | Last update: 28.10.2019 Place course on memo list
VO Market, State, Social Institutions 2
VO 2

Students will acquire knowledge of the tensions between the main questions and problems of economic sociology and political economy.  The goal is to facilitate a better understandingof the interconnections between -- and the social, political, and economic embeddedness of -- social, political and economic action, institutions, and relations, in a global context that is increasingly prone to different types of crises.  Paradoxically, as the speed and intensity of related challenges keeps increasing, there are mounting indications that the ability of social,, political, and economic institutions and organizations to confront proliferating challenges is declining.  Such achievements as political and economic stability, environmental protection, democracy and full emplyment were interoreted as hallmarks of progress during the second half of the twentieth century; yet, the historical trajectory of sociao-historical change in the 21st century appears to point in a different direction, under conditions of globalization and transnationalization.  To reflect upon the increasingly uncertain future, issues such as automation and artificial intelligence will also be considered.  This lecture is of particular relevance to students of political and economic sociology, social and political theory, political science and organization studies.

The lecture provides an in-depth perspective on current sociological research areas with regard to the links between market, state, and social institutions, in the areas of economic sociology, political economy, and political sociology, with a non-exclusive emphasis on conditions and developments in the western hemisphere, especially with regard to the prevailing constellation of business, labor, and government in the United States, in terms of American exceptionalism and neoliberalism.  Building on the classics (especially Marx, Durkheim, Weber, but also others, such as Schumpeter), the following assumptions of economic sociology and political economy will be critically examined:  (1) economic action is a form of social action; (2) economic action is embedded in socio-historical contexts; (3) economic institutions are social constructions; (4) political institutions both regulate and are shaped by economic organizations; (5) social movements employ political institutions and processes to influence, limit, or expand the reach of markets and economic organizations; (6) each country presents a set of distinctive analytical and practical challenges within a particular matrix of business-labor-government relations. A special emphasis will be placed on tensions between the research goals of economic sociology, on the one hand, and recent efforts to develop further/refine the critique of political economy, on the other.  What perspectives do these approaches open up in terms of shifts in terms of “economy/market,” “society/social institutions,” “state/government”, the larger issues of control and stability, and consequences resulting for society and forms of solidarity in the 21st century, as the commitment to democracy seems to weaken?  Moreover, is it possible in the early 21st century to observe a rapprochment between systems theory and critical theory?

Lecture and discussion

Written exam at the end of the lecture with comprehensive questions. 

  • Burt, Ronald S. (1992). Structural Holes. The Social Structure of Competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Auszug: 8-30.)
  • DiMaggio, Paul & Powell, Walter W. (1983). The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields. American Sociological Review 48: 147-160.
  • Fligstein, Neil (1996). Markets as Politics: A political-cultural approach to market institutions. American Sociological Review 61(4): 656-673.
  • Granovetter, Mark (1995). The Economic Sociology of Firms and Entrepreneurs. In: Alejandro Portes (Hg.). The Economic Sociology of Immigration: Essays on Networks, Ethnicity, and Entrepreneurship. New York: Russell Sage Foundation: 128-165.
  • Hall, Peter A. (2006). Stabilität und Wandel in den Spielarten des Kapitalismus. In: Beckert et al. (Hg.) (2006). op. cit.: 181-205.
  • Knorr-Cetina, Karin & Brügger, Urs (2002). Global Microstructures: The virtual societies of financial markets. American Journal of Sociology 107(4): 905-950.
  • Power, Michael (1997). The audit society: rituals of verification. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. (Auzüge: Kap. 1: 1-15 und Kap. 3: 41-69.)
  • Swedberg, Richard (2001). Max Weber’s Vision of Economic Sociology. In: Granovetter & Swedberg (Hg.) (2001). op. cit.: 77-96.
  • Tonkiss, Fran (2001). Markets against States: Neo-Liberalism. In: Nash & Scott (Hg.) (2001). op. cit.: 250-261.
  • Whitley, Richard (1992). The Social Construction of Organizations and Markets. The Comparative Analysis of Business Recipes. In: Reed, Michael (Hg.). Rethinking Organization: new directions in organization theory and analysis. London: Sage: 120-143.

positive completion of the compulsory module according to § 5 Para 1 No 8.

see dates
Group 0
Date Time Location
Fri 2019-05-24
09.00 - 16.45 HS 3 (Sowi) HS 3 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Sat 2019-05-25
09.00 - 16.45 HS 3 (Sowi) HS 3 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Fri 2019-05-31
09.00 - 16.45 HS 3 (Sowi) HS 3 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Sat 2019-06-01
09.00 - 16.45 HS 3 (Sowi) HS 3 (Sowi) Barrier-free Klausur (15:00-16:30 Uhr)
Fri 2019-11-08
08.00 - 09.45 Aula (Sowi) Aula (Sowi) Barrier-free Klausur