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.
Today, more than at any other time in human history, markets dominate our lives. We rely on markets to supply an enormous range of things, including food for our tables, shelter over our heads, child care for our sons and daughters, and a comfortable retirement. The markets that rule our lives, moreover, are increasingly globe spanning. More than ever, the things we purchase in markets were produced in faraway places. More than ever, events in distant financial markets can have an immediate and tangible impacts on our lives, as we see the stock market go up or down, our retirement portfolios grow or shrink, and our employment prospects wax or wane.
As markets have penetrated more and more areas of our lives, there has been ...