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Markets, Meanings, and Social Structure

Second Edition

July 2012 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This long-awaited Second Edition continues to offer an accessible introduction to the way social arrangements affect economic activity, and shows that economic exchanges are deeply embedded in social relationships.

Understanding how society shapes the economy helps us answer many important questions. For example, how does advertising get people to buy things? How do people use their social connections to get jobs? How did large bureaucratic organizations come to be so pervasive in modern economies - and what difference does it make? How can we explain the persistence of economic inequalities between men and women and across racial groups? Why do some countries become rich while others stay poor? This book presents sociological answers to questions like these, and encourages its readers to view the economy through a sociological lens.

Chapter 1: The Embeddedness of Markets
Markets and Their Alternatives  
Markets and Their Preconditions  
The Embeddedness of Markets  
The Consequences of Markets  
The Variety of Capitalisms  
Outline of the Book  
Chapter 2: Marketing and the Meaning of Things
Things and Meaning  
Commodities as Gifts  
Consumers and Debt  
Diversity and Consumerism  
Consumerism and Globalization  
Chapter 3: Organizations and the Economy
The Power of the Boss  
Organizations around the Globe  
Organizations and Internal Labor Markets  
The Organizational Context for Conflict  
Workplace and Personal Life  
The Formation of an Organizational Economy  
Chapter 4: Networks in the Economy
What Is a Network?  
Why Networks Matter  
Individual Networks  
The Importance of Networks in Markets  
Chapter 5: Banking and Finance
What Does a Financial System Do?  
Finance and Development  
Regulation and Deregulation  
Innovation and Status  
Household Finance  
Globalization and Finance  
Chapter 6: Economic Inequality
Inequality in Perspective  
Inequality and Efficiency  
Explaining Recent Trends in Income Inequality  
Race, Gender, and Inequality  
Gender in the Labor Market  
Race in the Labor Market  
Race, Mortgage Discrimination, and Wealth Inequality  
Race, Gender, and Price  
Chapter 7: Economic Development
Economic Development Defined  
From The Wealth of Nations to the Washington Consensus  
Sociological Perspectives on Development  
Chapter 8: Conclusion

Economy/Society is one of the book on which this course is based. Students very much appreciate the clear overview and the examples. Together with journal articles, this book provides them with a good understanding of how sociologists investigate economic processes.

Mr Ferry Koster
Sociology Department, Erasmus University Rotterdam
December 10, 2014

A fine book in this relatively niche area. Looks at this area from a fresh perspective and lends a counter argument to much mainstream economic literature

Mr Joe Fitzgerald
School of Business, Institute of Business & Technology
February 15, 2013

Carruthers and Babb present an excellent textbook both for those working in fields that transcend a simple view of Economics as an optimization science and to more orthodox economists interested in expand their mental maps of economic science. It debates how markets are embedded in societies and depend on social structures and institutions that frame their functioning. In this way, the authors show that markets are neither the only institution nor the most relevant one in economic order. The book, anchored in notions, such embeddedness and networks that are being developed in the scope of Economic Sociology, provides the understanding of the interconnections between economy and society, facilitating a deeper comprehension of organizations, finance, inequalities and development. It is a textbook that I will recommend to postgraduate students but also at undergraduate level in introductory disciples of Economics .

Dr Hugo Pinto
Faculty of Economics, University of the Algarves
January 7, 2013

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ISBN: 9781412994965

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