Teaching MS

Department of Sociology, Yerevan State University

Lecture: Market Sociology (fall term 2010).

Instructor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Steffen Roth

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Markets in economics and economic sociology (Lecture 1)

  • Lie, J. (1997) ‘Sociology of markets’, Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 23, pp. 341-360 (download).
  • Fourcade, M. (2007) ‘Theories of markets and theories of society’, American Behavioural Scientist, Vol. 50, No. 8, pp. 1015-1034 (download).


On the embedding of markets: Karl Polanyi (Lecture 2)

  • Beckert, J. (2007) ‘The Great Transformation of Embeddedness. Karl Polanyi and the New Economic Sociology’, MPIfG Discussion Paper, Vol. 07, No. 1 (download).
  • Polanyi, K. (1963) ‘Ports of Trade in Early Societies’, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 23. No. 1, pp. 30-45 (download).
  • Polanyi, K. (1957) The great transformation. The political and economic origins of our time, Boston, Beacon Press.
  • Polanyi, K. (1963) ‘Ports of Trade in Early Societies’, Journal of Economic History, Vol. 23, pp. 30-45.


Markets, ‘economy and society’: Talcott Parsons and Niel Smelser (Lecture 3)

  • Beckert, J. (2006) ‘Interpenetration Versus Embeddedness. The Premature Dismissal of Talcott Parsons in the New Economic Sociology’, American Journal of Economics and Sociology Vol. 65, No. 1, pp. 161-188 (download).
  • Parsons, T. (1934) ‘Some Reflections on “The Nature and Significance of Economics”’, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 48, pp. 511-545.
  • Parsons, T. und N. Smelser (2003) Economy and Society, London, Routledge.


Market sociology as economic sociology (Seminar 1)

Questions to be discussed:

  • Why is market sociology perceived to be (the core of) economic sociology?
  • What does Jens Beckert mean when claiming ‘We are all Polanyians now’?
  • In what regard does the concept of embeddedness depend on the ‘economy and society’ paradigm?


Markets as social structures: Harrison White and Marc Granovetter (Lecture 4)

  • White, H. C. (1981) ‘Where Do Markets Come From?’, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 87, No. 3, pp. 517-547 (download).
  • Granovetter, M. S. (1977) The Strength of Weak Ties. Social Networks – A Developing Paradigm, New York, Academic Press.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (1983) ‘The strength of weak ties: A network theory revisited’, Sociological Theory, Vol. 1, pp. 201-233.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (1985) ‘Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness’, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 91, No. 3, pp. 481-510.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (1990) ‘The Old and the New Economic Sociology: A History and an Agenda’, in R. Friedland und A. F. Robertson (ed.) Beyond the Market Place, New York, de Gruyter, pp. 89-112.
  • Granovetter, M. S. (1995) Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers, Cambridge (MA), Havard University Press.
  • White, H. C (2002) Markets from Networks: Socioeconomic Models of Production, Princeton, Princeton University Press.


Market as fields: Pierre Bourdieu (Lecture 5)

  • Bourdieu, P. (1986) ‘The forms of capital’, in J. G. Richardson (ed.) Handbook of the Theory of Research for the Sociology of Education, New York, Greenwood Press, pp. 241-258 (Download).
  • Bourdieu, P. (1984) The market of symbolic goods’, Chapter I in P. Bourdieu (ed.) The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature, New York, Columbia University Press (Download).
  • Bourdieu, P. (1999) Acts of Resistance: Against the Tyranny of the Market, New York, New Press.
  • Diaz-Bone, R. (2006) ‘Wirtschaftssoziologische Perspektiven nach Bourdieu in Frankreich’, in M. Florian und F. Hillebrandt (eds.) Pierre Bourdieu: neue Perspektiven für die Soziologie der Wirtschaft, Wiesbaden, VS Verlag, pp. 43-72.
  • Diaz-Bone, R. (2007) ‘Qualitätskonventionen in ökonomischen Feldern’, Berliner Journal für Soziologie, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 489–509.
  • Florian, M. and F. Hillebrandt (2006) Pierre Bourdieu: neue Pespektiven für die Soziologie der Wirtschaft, Wiesbaden, VS Verlag.


Markets and power (Seminar 2)

Questions to be discussed:

  • How does market power emerge?
  • What is the role of symbolic power in the making of markets?
  • Which core similarities and differences between the concepts of ‘markets as networks’ and ‘markets as fields’ do we have to keep in mind?

Performing markets: Michel Callon (Lecture 6)

  • Aspers, P. (2007) ‘Theory, reality, and performativity in markets’, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 66, No. 2, pp. 379-398 (download).
  • Callon, M. (1998): ‘Introduction: The embeddedness of economic markets in economics’, in M. Callon (ed.) The Laws of the Markets, Oxford, Blackwell, pp. 1-57.
  • Callon, M. (2007) ‘What does it mean to say that economics is performative?’, in D. MacKenzie, F. Muniesa und L. Siu (eds.) Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics, Princeton, Princeton University Press, pp. 311-357.


Markets as the inner environment of the economy: Niklas Luhmann (Lecture 7)

  • Viskovatoff, A. (2004) ‘The market as an environment’, Journal des Economistes et des Études Humaines, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 55-70 (download).
  • Luhmann, N. (1988) Die Wirtschaft der Gesellschaft (Society’s economy), Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp.
  • Luhmann, N. (1997) Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft (Society’s society), Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp.
  • Luhmann, N. (2000) Organisation und Entscheidung (Organization and decision), Opladen, Westdeutscher Verlag.
  • Paul, A. T. (2006) ‘Luhmann, Niklas’, in J. Beckert und M. Zafirovski (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology, London und New York, Routledge, pp. 417-419.


Constructing markets (Seminar 3)

Questions to be discussed:

  • In how far do economists perform markets? Who else can perform markets?
  • What is the market an environment of according to Luhmann?
  • Comparing the market concepts of Callon and Luhmann: What similarities and differences strike our attention?


Non-economic markets: Gary Becker and Dirk Baecker (Lecture 8)

  • Baecker, D. (2006) ‘Market’, in A. Harrington, B.  Marshall und H.-P. Müller (eds.) Encyclopedia of Social Theory, London und New York, Routledge, pp. 333-335 (download).
  • Becker, G. S. (1992) ‘The Economic Way of Looking at Life’ (download).
  • Baecker, D. (2001) ‘Kapital als strukturelle Kopplung’, Soziale Systeme, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 313-327.
  • Becker, G. S. und K. M. Murphy (2000) Social Economics. Market Behaviour in a Social Environment, Cambridge (MA) and London, Havard University Press.
  • Becker, G. S. (1974) ‘A Theory of Marriage’, in T. W. Schultz (ed.) Economics of the Family. Marriage, Children and Human Capital, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, pp. 299-344.


Market is not economy: Steffen Roth (Lecture 9)

  • Roth, S. (2010) ‘Zu den Grenzen des Gemeinplatzes vom wirtschaftlichen Markt: Ecksteine einer allgemeinen Marktsoziologie’, in H. Pahl und L. Meyer (eds.) Gesellschaftstheorie der Geldwirtschaft, Marburg, Metropolis.
  • Roth, S. (2010) Markt ist nicht Wirtschaft. These zur Begründung einer soziologischen Disziplin, Heidelberg, Carl Auer.

Non-economic and trans-economic market concepts (Seminar 4)

Questions to be discussed:

  • For what reasons did, of all, economic sociology reject Gary Beckers concepts of non-economic markets?
  • How do the concepts of ‘the public’ and ‘the market’ interrelate? In how far are both concepts used differently by Baecker and Roth?
  • What is the shortest possible argument making a case for the claim ‘market is not economy’?

Markets reloaded I: On the origins of markets. The silent trade (Lecture 10)

  • Grierson, P. J. H. (1980) ‘The Silent Trade: A Contribution to the Early History of Human Intercourse [1903]’, Reprint in G. Dalton (ed.) Research in Economic Anthropology: A Research Annual, Vol. 3, pp. 1-74 (download, especially Section II, The Silent Trade and the Primitive Market, p. 41ff).


Markets reloaded II: Markets and neutrality. Exchange rings and border stones (Lecture 11)

  • Malinowski, B. (1979) Argonauten des westlichen Pazifiks (Argonauts of the Western Pacific), Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp (download).
  • Mauss, Marcel (1990) Die Gabe (The Gift), Frankfurt am Main, Suhrkamp.


Contemporary markets revisited. Discussion of term papers topics (Seminar 5)

Possible term paper topics:

  • Markets in emerging markets
  • Financial markets as social structures
  • Financial markets in emerging markets
  • How did the market become economic?
  • Ancient markets: pictures and narratives
  • Distant markets: pictures and narratives

Your term paper accounts for max. 4 points. In addition, the defense of your term paper’s topic will cover 50% of the final oral exam (max. 4/8 points). Another maximum of 4 points will be awarded for both class participation and for a progress report on your term paper.