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Beyond the Market: The Social Foundations of Economic Efficiency Kindle Edition

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Length: 376 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


This book reflects impressive intellectual ambition, maturity, and erudition.


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

Product Details

  • File Size: 4602 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (January 10, 2009)
  • Publication Date: January 10, 2009
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002WJM6VI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,889,427 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Jens Beckert writes intelligently and lucidly, never hiding weakness of conception behind a flurry of big, vague words. Beckert is also respectful of the reader, never leaving in doubt exactly where is stands in the course of his argument. Beckert's task, reformulating and respecifying economic sociology, is high theory, however, and contemporary sociology is devoid of high theory. This leaves Beckert with little to work with, filling the bulk of this book with rehashes of the work of Durkheim, Parsons, and Giddens, and relegating his alternative framework to the final ten pages of the book.

Beckert's alternative is a version of the embedded markets position so ably developed by Granovetter (1985), as well as Beckert's mentors in the Princeton sociology department. This approach has led to excellent analyses of real-live markets that should be read by all economic theorists and policy-makers. However, this approach does not pretend to be general sociological theory, and it is an important supplement to, not alterative to, traditional economic analysis.

The embedded markets approach is has interesting lessons for the interrelations among the behavioral disciplines. Sociological theorists have been perennially preoccupied with the question of the appropriate boundary-line between economics and sociology. Virtually every sociological theorist (except James Coleman and friends) include the rejection of the "utilitarian" model of economic theory. Granovetter calls the economist's rational actor "undersocialized," and sees sociology as providing a better-socialized actor. On the other hand, Granovetter joins the herd in considering the traditional sociological model, that of Talcott Parsons' theory of action, as "oversocialized.
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