This long-awaited second edition of Economy/Society Markets, Meanings, and Social Structure continues to offer an accessible introduction to the way social arrangements affect economic activity, and shows that economic exchanges are deeply embedded in social relationships. Understanding how society shapes the economy helps us answer many important questions. For example, how does advertising get people to buy things? How do people use their social connections to get jobs? How did large bureaucratic organizations come to be so pervasive in modern economies—and what difference does it make? How can we explain the persistence of economic inequalities between men and women and across racial groups? Why do some countries become rich while others stay poor? This book presents sociological answers to questions like these, and encourages its readers to view the economy through a sociological lens.

The Embeddedness of Markets

The embeddedness of markets

In a chapter titled “Closing the Deal (Getting Him to the Altar),” a book for husband-hunting single women observes that “getting the man you want to propose and then to turn that proposal into an actual wedding date [is] a feat some women say can be tougher than any corporate transaction” (Fein and Schneider 1997:99). The idea that there are “markets” in seemingly noneconomic areas, such as love and marriage, has become quite widespread in recent years, and not just in popular advice books. To optimize their marketability and increase their success rates, single men and women can set up online profiles to advertise the qualities that make them ideal candidates for marriage. These individuals can then essentially ...

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