The Sociology of Economic Life

Edited by Mark Granovetter; Richard Swedberg

Third Edition • January 1, 2011 • 592 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813344553 • $70.00 USD$47.50 CAN

Courses: ,

More by these authors: ,

Order an Exam or Desk Copy

In recent years, sociologists have taken up a fruitful examination of institutions such as capital, labor, and product markets; industrial organization; and stock exchanges. Compared to earlier traditions of economic sociology, recent work shows more interest in phenomena usually studied exclusively by economists. At the same time, recent work challenges the adequacy of the neoclassical model.

In The Sociology of Economic Life, editors Granovetter and Swedberg incorporate classic and contemporary readings in economic sociology and related disciplines to provide students with a broad understanding of the many dimensions of economic life. A thorough and accessible introduction by the editors traces the history of thought in the field and assesses recent advances and future trends. The third edition is substantially revised and updated with eight new chapters, including original contributions from some of the field’s leading scholars that explain cutting-edge research and critically review the essential scholarship in the field.

Mark Granovetter is professor of sociology at Stanford University.

Richard Swedberg is professor of sociology at Cornell University.


1. Karl Polanyi, “The Economy as Instituted Process”
2. Mark Granovetter, “Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness”
3. NEW—Mark Granovetter, “The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes”
4. NEW—Richard Swedberg, “Max Weber’s Central Text in Economic Sociology”
5. Pierre Bourdieu, “The Forms of Capital”
6. Alejandro Portes and Julia Sensenbrenner, “Embeddedness and Immigration: Notes on the Social Determinants of Economic Action”


7. Clifford Geertz, “The Bazaar Economy: Information and Search in Peasant Marketing”
8. Viviana A. Zelizer, “Human Values and the Market: The Case of Life Insurance and Death in 19th Century America”
9. NEW—Sarah Quinn, “The Transformation of Morals in Markets: Death, Benefits, and the Exchange of Life Insurance Policies”
10. William P. Bridges and Robert L. Nelson, “Economic and Sociological Approaches to Gender Inequality in Pay”
11. Stewart Macaulay, “Non-Contractual Relations in Business; A Preliminary Study”
12. Brian Uzzi, “Social Structure and Competition in Interfirm Networks: The Paradox of Embeddedness”
13. NEW—Bruce Carruthers, “What is Sociological about Banks and Banking?”
14. NEW—Donald MacKenzie and Yuval Millo, “Constructing a Market, Performing a Theory: The Historical Sociology of a Financial Derivatives Exchange”


15. George Strauss, “Group Dynamics and Intergroup Relations”
16. Melville Dalton, selection from “Men Who Manage”
17. Arthur Stinchcombe, “Bureaucratic and Craft Administration of Production: A Comparative Study”
18. Paul Hirsch, “Processing Fads and Fashions: An Organization-Set Analysis of Cultural Industry Systems”
19. AnnaLee Saxenian, “Inside-Out: Regional Networks and Industrial Adaptation in Silicon Valley and Route 128”


20. Randall Collins, “Weber’s Last Theory of Capitalism: A Systematization”
21. Frank Dobbin, ”Why the Economy Reflects the Polity: Early Rail Policy in Britain, France and the United States”
22. NEW—Wolfgang Streeck, “E Pluribus Unum? The Varieties of Capitalism”
23. Ronald Dore, “Goodwill and the Spirit of Market Capitalism”
24. NEW—Nicole Biggart and Mauro Guillen, “Developing Difference: Social Organization and the Rise of the Auto Industries of South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and Argentina
25. NEW—Andrew Walder, “Transitions from State Socialism: A Property Rights Perspective”

“Granovetter and Swedberg have done it again. In addition to the timeless classics, this new edition includes several important recent works as well as an expanded introduction. The Sociology of Economic Life will continue to be an ideal teaching tool for both undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as a valuable reference for scholars.” —Mark S. Mizruchi, University of Michigan

Praise for prior editions:

“If I could select only one book to introduce students and scholars to the exciting field of economic sociology, it would be The Sociology of Economic Life. Granovetter and Swedberg have done an outstanding job of covering all the bases in this second edition. Within one compact book, the reader finds an astute introductory essay, timeless classics, contemporary masterworks, and what’s currently cutting edge.” — Linda Brewster Stearns, University of California, Riverside

“The editors’ superb brief Introduction to this edition will orient the reader, and their expert Literature Addendum to each chapter will fortify the reader to join the rapidly moving fronts of economic sociology, for which Swedberg is perhaps the leading observer and Granovetter the leading essayist. This book reaches the beginning student as easily as a specialist.” — Harrison White, Giddings Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

“The study of economic organization has witnessed a substantial transformation during the past twenty years. Economists and sociologists … are now engaged in an active and sometimes contentious dialogue. The Sociology of Economic Life usefully contributes to that dialogue by assembling some of the more influential contributions of sociologists under one cover.” — Oliver E. Williamson, University of California at Berkeley

If you are a professor or course instructor, please use the following form to give us feedback on The Sociology of Economic Life: