- Subject index
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.
Chapter 5: Banking and Finance
Banking and Finance
In today's complex market economy, people often find their lives affected by forces that are difficult to understand. A good example is the financial collapse that rocked the U.S. economy in 2008. Home owners around the country defaulted on their mortgages, leaving boarded-up, abandoned properties behind them. People with private pensions were stunned to see the value of their retirement funds shrink as the value of shares traded on stock exchanges dropped. Firms that almost no one had ever heard about before, such as AIG, were suddenly receiving enormous government bailouts. Small and medium-sized businesses were hurt when credit markets tightened and it suddenly became hard to obtain much-needed credit. As the economy lapsed into recession, millions of Americans lost ...