An Introduction to the Sociology of Markets
Author: Alex Preda
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Business & Economics
As financial markets have assumed increasing prominence in societies, economic sociology's insights into their operations have provided some of the most cogent explanations of how they affect our world. The book systematically surveys the most important sociological approaches to markets, taking information as the key concept in the analysis of transactions. It examines the differences between economic and sociological concepts of information, showing how the latter can ground a genuinely sociological research programme in the investigation of markets. This is the first book to bring together and discuss different approaches to markets in contemporary economic sociology with respect to the links between information and transactions. Structured on a scale which goes from the analysis of economic exchanges as social interactions to the examination of social institutions which support global markets, the book highlights the social and cultural factors shaping the production, diffusion, and uses of economic information. Based on a systematic discussion of the latest research on economic interactions, the book investigates how information is constituted in market transactions; the role played by emotions; the role of shared cognitive frameworks in shaping information. It integrates the analysis of economic groups, networks, and communities with that of forms of economic expertise, technologies, organizations, and institutions which constitute markets. The book analyzes the social structures supporting market transactions, discussing networks of social relationships, groups, and market communities with respect to information. It shows how newer concepts like performativity, with several versions and applications, contribute to a better understanding of market dynamics. Using examples, the book discusses the increased technological complexity of markets and its consequences with respect to how information is processed in transactions.