Beyond the Market
The Social Foundations of Economic Efficiency
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Beyond the Market by Jens Beckert
Book DescriptionBeyond 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.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691049076
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 3-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jens Beckert
Imagined Futures, Hardback (July 2016)
Consumers, investors, and corporations orient their activities toward a future that contains opportunities and risks. How do these actors assess uncertainty? Jens Beckert adds a new chapter to the theory of capitalism by showing how fictional expectations drive modern economies-or throw them into crisis when imagined futures fail to materialize.
Constructing Quality, Hardback (June 2013)
This book explores how value and quality are established in markets and society by means of a series of empirical studies across a diverse set of topics. It contributes to the sociology of markets, as well as connecting to the larger issue of the constitution of social order through classification.
Worth of Goods, Paperback (June 2011)
Drawing on theory and empirical research, this interdisciplinary book brings together leading social scientists to examine how prices are set and how values emerge inside and outside of markets, which have become the central force in the contemporary economy.
International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology, Paperback (March 2010)» View all books by Jens Beckert
A work on the field of economic sociology.
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Author Biography - Jens Beckert
Jens Beckert is Associate Professor of Sociology at the International University Bremen.
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