Workshops: Bringing The New Economic Sociology Back Into the Sociological Analysis, Warsaw, 22-23 May 2017. Submission of extended abstract – 1,000 words: 10 December 2016.
Economic sociology got established as an approach to economic phenomena with the tools of sociology. This was relaunched in the 1980s in close association with the thesis of social embeddedness of economic action, and it continues to flourish and develop ever since. Hence, the embeddedness theoretical foundation was supplemented with other strong assumptions regarding power, institutions, social networks, as well as uncertainty, unintended consequences and fictional expectations. While, in addition to the US branch of new economic sociology, other related schools soon came along, such as the distinct European platforms. The sociological dimension of new economic sociology notwithstanding, it is also observable, especially in the case of the generic European approach, that this is rather loosely coupled with sociology. New economic sociology makes use of sociological concepts and theories in addressing economic phenomena. But it directs this framing mainly towards economics, theory of organizations, new institutionalism and the study of social networks. This brings a sociological or sociologically informed perspective on economic phenomena to the attention of these disciplines. Yet it rarely uses insights gained by new economic sociology in order to build a bridge to, reinterpret or update the traditional or contemporary sociological framings. This state of affairs leads to the situation that even though new economic sociology builds on sociology, and it is presented as a sub-field of it, this also runs the risk of diverting from sociology, and of becoming a new sociology altogether.
In line with these observable trends, the Workshop aims to inquire whether this trend towards loose coupling, and even decoupling, is universal or rather particular to specific branches of new economic sociology? What elements determine whether new economic sociology and sociology appear as more or less coupled/decoupled? How is the tricky relation between new economic sociology and sociology probable to develop? What can sociology learn from new economic sociology? How to bring new economic sociology back into the sociological explanations? The Workshop invites papers related to the following themes: Continue reading