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An overview of German new economic sociology and the contribution of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

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  • Wilkinson, John

Abstract

New economic sociology (NES) in Germany has many similarities with economic sociology in the United States in its conscious efforts to institutionalize its presence within the broader sociology community, its promotion of a canon via handbooks, and its focus on the sociology of markets. At the same time, it differs in its stronger connections to the German classics, the greater vitality of a macrosociological tradition in Germany, the prior existence of a "bridging" generation of economic sociologists, and its later consolidation in a period of neo-liberal globalization, all of which have given NES in the German-speaking world a distinctive character. In addition, it has been influenced by successive waves of French economic sociology - Bourdieu, convention, and actor-network theory - and its bilingual academic tradition has ensured its integration into English-speaking NES. In its contribution to the sociology of markets, the fact that NES emerged later in Germany than in the US led to a greater concern with quality markets rather than commodity markets, and a concomitantly greater attention to issues of value and price. These latter themes, in their turn, establish a continuity with German economic sociology's enduring concern with understanding the role of money. Not surprisingly, therefore, German NES is now making key contributions to discussions on the sociology of money and is increasingly situating its analysis within the broader dynamic of capitalism and current processes of financialization.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilkinson, John, 2019. "An overview of German new economic sociology and the contribution of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies," MPIfG Discussion Paper 19/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:193
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beckert, Jens, 2011. "Where do prices come from? Sociological approaches to price formation," MPIfG Discussion Paper 11/3, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    2. Donald MacKenzie, 2008. "An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633671, March.
    3. Braun, Benjamin, 2016. "Speaking to the people? Money, trust, and central bank legitimacy in the age of quantitative easing," MPIfG Discussion Paper 16/12, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    4. repec:taf:rripxx:v:23:y:2016:i:6:p:1064-1092 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Beckert, Jens & Aspers, Patrik (ed.), 2011. "The Worth of Goods: Valuation and Pricing in the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199594658.
    6. Beckert, Jens & Musselin, Christine (ed.), 2013. "Constructing Quality: The Classification of Goods in Markets," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199677573.
    7. repec:taf:cnpexx:v:21:y:2016:i:3:p:257-273 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Eve Chiapello & Luc Boltanski, 1999. "Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme," Post-Print hal-00680085, HAL.
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    Keywords

    German economic sociology; Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and economic sociology; new economic sociology; deutsche Wirtschaftssoziologie; Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung und Wirtschaftssoziologie; Neue Wirtschaftssoziologie;

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