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Hardcover The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies Book

ISBN: 0691005222

ISBN13: 9780691005225

The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies

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Market societies have created more wealth, and more opportunities for more people, than any other system of social organization in history. Yet we still have a rudimentary understanding of how markets... This description may be from another edition of this product.

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The market as a social field

Over past decades, what has bestowed the identity on economic sociology is the shared hostility to neoclassical economics. But besides it, unfortunately, they have agreed on nothing. And worse, economists simply pass over their arguments. They are no more than fusses about nothing. The reason is simple: there are no potent enough alternatives in sociological camp. Fligstein argues that this is because sociological approaches lack a organizing frame to explain economic processes as generic social processes. To make it effective, there should be a simple and powerful enough theoretical frame. Offering such an approach is what Fligstein intends with this book. Economic action takes place in the market. Fligstein holds that there is no reason to treat the market differently. Social action takes place in organized social space, or field in Bourdieu¡¯s term. Fields is the space where one try to dominate others. But the domination in that space is systemized and routinized. It defines local relations between actors. Once in place, the interactions in fields become ¡®games¡¯ where groups in filed who have more power use the acceptable rules to reproduce their power: the domination system is institutionalized. This process makes action in fields inherently political. Studying field is about opening of new social space, how it becomes and remains stable (become a field), and the forces that transform fields. Fligstein replaces profit-maximizing actor with one who takes care of the survival of their firm. Managers and owners are trying enhance the survival of the firm by reducing the uncertainties they face in the market. Managing uncertain environment is a sizable task. It¡¯s about the search for stable and predictable interactions with competitors, suppliers, and workers. Relationship between seller and buyer is fleeting. Stability in the market lies in the relationship between sellers, then. Relationships between them delineate the market as a field. The social relations are oriented toward maintaining the advantage of largest seller firms in the face of their challengers. They define how the market works and how competition is structured. Although the firms compete, they have produced an equilibrium whereby they survive by following the accepted tactics of competition. As forms of social relation, market systems involve both shared understanding and concrete social relations. The shared understandings structure the interactions between competitors but also allow actors to make sense of their competitors actions. There are four types of rules relevant to producing social structure in markets: property rights, governance structures, rules of exchange, and conception of control. These categories are the essential analytic tools in Fligstein¡¯s approach. They enable researcher to dissect empirically. But definition and details are intricate to propose here. I¡¯ll skip it.Part I of this book sketch out the theoretical outline of Fligstein¡¯s approach. Part
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