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Beyond the Market : The Social Foundations of Economic Efficiency - Jens Beckert

Beyond the Market

The Social Foundations of Economic Efficiency

By: Jens Beckert, Barbara Harshav (Translator)

Hardcover

Published: 23rd September 2002
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"Beyond the Market" launches a sociological investigation into economic efficiency. Prevailing economic theory, which explains efficiency using formalized rational choice models, often simplifies human behavior to the point of distortion. Jens Beckert finds such theory to be particularly weak in explaining such crucial forms of economic behavior as cooperation, innovation, and action under conditions of uncertainty--phenomena he identifies as the proper starting point for a sociology of economic action.

Beckert levels an enlightened critique at neoclassical economics, arguing that understanding efficiency requires looking well beyond the market to the social, cultural, political, and cognitive factors that influence the coordination of economic action. Beckert searches social theory for the components of an alternative theory of action, one that accounts for the social embedding of economic behavior. In Durkheim and Parsons he finds especially useful approaches to cooperation; in Luhmann, a way to understand how people act under highly contingent conditions; and in Giddens, an understanding of creative action and innovation. Together, these provide building blocks for a research program that will yield a theoretically sophisticated understanding of how economic processes are coordinated and the ways that markets are embedded in social, cultural, and cognitive structures.

Containing one of the most fully informed critiques of the neoclassical analysis of economic efficiency--as well as one of the most thoughtful blueprints for economic sociology--this book reclaims for sociology the study of one of the most important arenas of human action.

"This book reflects impressive intellectual ambition, maturity, and erudition."--Bruce G. Carruther, American Journal of Sociology

Prefacep. vii
Introductionp. 1
Critiquep. 5
The Limits of the Rational-Actor Model as a Microfoundation of Economic Efficiencyp. 7
Cooperationp. 18
Uncertaintyp. 36
Innovationp. 50
Conceptsp. 67
Emile Durkheim: The Economyas Moral Orderp. 69
Sociology as the Science of Moralityp. 74
Durkheim's Critique of Economicsp. 76
Economic Institutions as Moral Factsp. 81
Anomie and Forced Division of Laborp. 114
Stabilizing Economic Relations with Professional Groupsp. 119
Cooperation and Moralityp. 122
Appendix: Systematizing the View of the Economy in Sociological Theory: Durkheim through
Weber to Parsonsp. 125
Talcott Parsons: The Economyas a Subsystem of Societyp. 133
Economic and Sociological Theory in Parsons's Early Workp. 135
The Economy as the Adaptive Subsystem of Societyp. 149
The Boundary Proceses of the Economyp. 156
The Institutional Establishment of Economic Rationalityp. 192
Cooperation and Interpenetrationp. 197
Niklas Luhmann: The Economyas a Autopoietic Systemp. 201
The Self-Referentiality of the Economyp. 207
The Reentry of the Excluded Third Partyp. 216
System and Actionp. 233
Anthony Giddens: Actor and Structure in Economic Actionp. 241
Interpretation and Structuration of Economic Action ??? Cooperation and Reflextivityp. 259
Innovation and Creativityp. 269
Conclusionsp. 283
Perspectives for Economic Sociologyp. 285
Notesp. 297
Bibliographyp. 327
Indexp. 347
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691049076
ISBN-10: 0691049076
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 376
Published: 23rd September 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.68