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Economics and Sociology


  • Michael Piore


[eng] Economies and Sociology. . This paper explores the potential of sociology to fill certain gaps in economic theory. It examines in particular its capacity to explain: 1) the institutional supports required to make a competitive market work; and, 2) the limits of the assumption of rational choice behavior. The dominant sociological approach to problems of this kind is to postulate the existence of different social realms, but it does not have a strong theory of how these realms corne into existence and how their boundaries corne to be defined. Its failure to provide such a theory is particularly limiting because the salient characteristic of the period in which we are living is fluidity of boundaries, the boundaries of the firm and the family no less than the boundaries between the economie and social realms themselves. The paper concludes with suggestions for how a theory of boundary formation could be built around a notion of "interpretation" as a mode of human behavior distinct from rational choice but co-existing with it. [fre] Economie et sociologie. . Cet article étudie les apports potentiels de la sociologie pour combler certaines lacunes de la théorie économique. Il examine en particulier sa capacité à expliquer : 1) les supports institutionnels nécessaires au fonctionnement d'une économie de marchés concurrentiels ; et 2) les limites de l'hypothèse de rationalié dans les comportements de choix. L'approche sociologique dominante de ce type de problèmes consiste à postuler l'existence de sphères sociales différentes, mais elle ne dispose pas d'une théorie solide de la façon dont ces sphères se constituent et dont se définissent leurs frontières. Cette absence est d'autant plus dommageable qu'une caractéristique frappante de la période actuelle est la fluidité des frontières, qu'il s'agisse des frontières entre l'entreprise et la vie privée ou entre les sphères éco­nomiques et sociales elles-mêmes. En conclusion, l'article indique comment on pourrait construire une théorie de la formation de ces frontières autour d'une notion d'« interprétation », en tant que mode de comportement humain distinct du choix rationnel mais co-existant avec celui-ci.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Piore, 2002. "Economics and Sociology," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 53(2), pages 291-300.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_2002_num_53_2_410406

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    Cited by:

    1. Mazumdar, Surajit, 2008. "Crony Capitalism: Caricature or Category?," MPRA Paper 19626, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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