Economic sociology offers a valuable alternative perspective for studying the modern economy. It provides a deeper understanding of economic institutions and processes than economics alone. Above all, it highlights the mutual interrelationships between society and economy and how embedded social factors matter for the functioning and outcome of modern market capitalism.
This introduction to the field showcases the important insights economic sociology brings through sociological analyses and empirical studies of markets, firms and alternative forms of production and consumption. It shows how the research field has developed since it was first established in the 1970s and how its analyses of social capital, trust, reputation, social conventions, as well as new developments such as digitization, have proved hugely valuable to understanding the link between economy and society.
Andrea Maurer is Professor of Sociology at Trier University. She has published widely in the fields of economic sociology, new institutionalism and sociological theory, including, most recently, editing The Handbook of Economic Sociology for the 21st Century (2021).