Economic Sociology : An Introduction book cover
2nd Edition

Economic Sociology
An Introduction

ISBN 9781138217652
Published March 31, 2020 by Routledge
270 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Economic Sociology provides the clearest and most comprehensive account of the promises of economic sociology. It shows how economies are more than supply-and-demand curves, individual profit motives, and efficient performance: they are forms of power and structure, grounded in institutions and culture. What is calculated, how, and why? Are profit and efficiency always so central to economic structures and outcomes? What shapes change and reproduction in economic practices and policies? How have classes and states, using power and institutions, created and continue to shape the economic world we live in? This second edition presents a critical and sophisticated, yet approachable analysis of economic behavior and phenomena.

After describing key concepts and logics of economic sociology and of economic sociology (its eternal cousin and competitor), Hass turns the sociologist’s analytic eye to the heart of economic practices comparing how they work in the United States, Europe, East Asia, Latin America, and post-socialist Russia and China. The volume addresses crucially important economic issues that touch our well-being and justice: the rise and structuring of capitalism; relations between states and economies; economic policies; economies and inequality; and organizations and corporations. Causes and consequences of globalization and the Great Recession are laid out for the reader.

With economics and economic sociology placed side-by-side in this journey of how economies operate in the past and present, the reader gets different perspectives on economic reality. Power and culture, institutions and fields, classes and corporations interact on this historical and global stage. Written in a clear and direct style, this textbook will appeal to students and scholars in economic sociology, sociology of work, economics, social policy, political economy and comparative sociology

Table of Contents

1. Economic Sociology Unbound

2. The Significant Other: Economic Theory

3. Making and Shaping Economies: States, Institutions, and Policies

4. Heart and Soul of the Economy: Labor and Organizations

5. Economies and Inequality

6. Contemporary Great Transformations: Socialism and Post-Socialism

7. Global Economy, Global Recession

Conclusion: Frontiers and Challenges of Economic Sociology

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Jeffrey K. Hass is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Richmond, USA, and part-time Professor Faculty of Economics, in the Department of Economic Theory, at St. Petersburg University, Russia. He works on post-socialist institutional and organizational change and on economics and economic sociology. He also explores wartime political economy in the USSR, practices of survival in the Blockade of Leningrad, and the nature of war and practices. In addition to articles and book chapters on economics, politics, and social change, his books include Economic Sociology; Power, Culture, and Economic Change in Russia; Rethinking the Post-Soviet Experience; and Re-examining the History of the Russian Economy. His areas of interest and expertise are economic sociology, political sociology, political economy, social change, power, organizational sociology, and comparative/historical sociology.


"Many textbooks in economic sociology are either too difficult or too generic for undergraduates. This book strikes the right balance between academics and accessibility that allows students to grapple with the material. The book provides excellent elaboration and summary of theoretical perspectives in economic sociology. It engagingly uses current events and historical examples to demonstrate the power of those perspectives. As a scholar of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, Hass brings unique insight into questions of economic sociology, including socialist alternatives to capitalism and the evolution of globalization. The broad canvas of the book helps students to think comparatively about the economy rather than focus on historically-specific instances in venues they are more familiar with."

Andrew Buck, Chair of Sociology, University of Southern Indiana, USA

"Hass promises to explore the politics and assumptions on which much of our economic life is based. He does this and suggests how economic sociology can improve our understanding of our contemporary world. Brilliantly researched and lucidly written."

Miguel Centeno, Professor of Sociology and International Affairs, Princeton University, USA

"Jeff Hass' book on Economic Sociology is not just an excellent introductory text on this increasingly prominent field, but a deep and well-crafted sociological critique of the economic fundamentalism that permeates the political debates of our times. Hass' book teaches us about the importance of power, organizations, fields, institutions, and cultures for understanding how economies operate differently under alternative social and political contexts. While many economists see society as a constraint to the economy, Hass convincingly argues that the economy is part of society and cannot exist without it. The book has many layers and will be of use to different types of readers – undergraduate students on a first contact with this field, economists who want to get familiarized with the sociological critique of economic theory and reflect on their own work, or policy analysts and practitioners who seek to better adapt their economic policies to the needs and customs of the people whom they aim to serve."

Jorge Rodriguez, Serra Hunter Associate Professor in Sociology and Criminology, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain