Economic Sociology

THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF FIRMS

Author(s): Anders Rosdahl  

It has often been documented how economic factors contribute to the unemployment of low productivity people. It is less well understood why some firms employ those people anyway. This paper examines theoretically and empirically business firms' hiring persons assessed to have low productivity such as long-term unemployed people, social clients, disabled and other disadvantaged groups
From an economic point of view firms' employment decisions depend on the productivity and costs of labour. The main hypothesis in this paper is that other factors (also) influence firms' employment of low productivity labour. The hypothesis is elaborated on the basis of: 1) The resource dependence perspective focusing on influences on the firm from powerful stakeholders. For example, a firm selling to public authorities may be influenced by the authorities to exhibit some form of social responsibility. 2) The neo-institutional perspective dealing with institutional environments' impacts on firms. An example is that firms' employment behaviour may be influenced by standards communicated to managers via professional associations, magazines or campaigns. 3) The community perspective stressing the significance for managerial behaviour of managers' non-work roles. For example, managers with a handicapped family member may be especially prone to hire d isadvantaged jobseekers
From these perspectives the paper derives a number of hypotheses, which are examined statistically on the basis of data from a stratified sample of 2,007 Danish managers interviewed by telephone. In the multivariate analysis (stata survey estimation) account is taken of how economic factors influence firm behaviour.

 

 

ORGANIZING PHILANTHROPY: NEO-POLANYIAN THOUGHTS ON WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION

Author(s): Ann Vogel

My paper concerns the place philanthropic gift-giving holds in the research program of the economic sociology. In this presentation I show how Polanyi's formulations about the state (in 'The Great Transformation') and of the analytic categories of allocative movements (in 'The Economy as Instituted Process') need to be re-visited to account for the economic and socially integrative effects of philanthropy as organized through both non-and for-profit markets
This theoretical part will be discussed along the empirical case of US American higher-education philanthropy. The US society has developed organizational means of non-market gift transfer and institutions to facilitate the movements of gifts throughout the political economy. It is argued that, in absence of the welfare state, the US has developed a redistribution system that is far more complex than Polanyi's formulation of redistribution can ever capture. The reason identified for Polanyi's 'slimmer' version is the lack of an organizational view in his works and his failure to account for the growth of the 'public sphere' (Habermas). In the US, the state shelters the RD system by developing an intermediary structure. It thus develops the public sphere, which in a neo-Polanyian formulation of wealth redistribution is specified methodologically as 'redistribution arena'. The concept of arena itself is, as I will explain, a synthesis of theoretical specifications from New Insttutionalism in sociology and Symbolic Interactionism. Although the European higher-education systems show a small gift economy, it is argued that they do not have developed 'redistribution arenas' as the gift economies have not been integrated through the public spheres in these societies. This is discussed in a concluding section of this paper with respect to Britain and Germany's higher-education philanthropy

 

 

TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AMONG SYMBOLIC PRODUCERS AND ECONOMIC COMPETITION IN CULTURAL FIELDS: THE CASE OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Author(s): Árni Sverrisson

This article reports a study of the diffusion of digital cameras among professional photographers in Sweden based on in-depth interviews and a mailed questionnaire. The article starts with a brief review of Bourdieu´s theory of symbolic production, and then moves on to a discussion of how it can be applied to the issue of technological change in the image-making industry. Data on the diffusion of digital image technologies are then presented and the issue posed, why the diffusion of digital cameras lags behind the diffusion of other digital image technologies. Three potential explanations are presented, all consistent with Bourdieu´s theory. The first is that digital cameras are constructed by professional photographers as of inferior quality, in technical terms. Hence, they avoid them. The second explanation is that a large number of photographers emphasize currently the artistic merits of their work rather than technical proficiency or effectiveness. Digital cameras have little to offer such artists-photographers, and others that define their professional identities in similar terms and ground their careers on non-technological forms of innovation and novelty production. The third potential explanation is that the flexibly organised small-enterprise networks within which most photographers operate generate risk aversion strategies and economies of diversification that work against the diffusion of digital cameras among professional photographers. In conclusion it is argued that technological change in branches and activities concerned with symbolic production follows trajectories significantly different from those of other types of production. Further, it is argued that branches and sub-branches in which relatively small scale symbolic producers dominate (such as advertising and fashion photography) tend to receive new, digital technologies in other ways than branches in which relatively large units dominate (e.g. press photography and film-making)

 

 

NEW ECONOMY AND OLD CAPITALISM? INFORMATION SOCIETY AND MECHANISMS OF REPRODUCING INEQUALITIES IN CANDIDATE COUNTRIES OF JOINING THE EUROPEAN UNION

Author(s): Attila Bartha

Recent convergence of Central- and Eastern European societies towards Western type capitalist societies is accompanied by the global transformation of industrial societies into information societies. The general assumption is that in the candidate countries of joining the European Union, after the stabilization of democratic political regimes and capitalist market economies the recently emerged social inequalities are rather tend to decrease. However, the expansion of new economy could have a contradictory effect on social stratification mechanisms: by creating an opportunity of rapid elimination of inherited economic backwardness, at the same time, it promotes the digital divide within societies and tends to reproduce the existing inequalities. The development of manufacturing industries related to information and communication technologies per se do not contribute to the decline of class differences: a more balanced social structure could be formed only via complex spill-over effects. In this paper, besides using an excessive quantitative database for candidate countries, based on several case studies, I try to identify the most important factors which have crucial role in declining versus reproducing social inequalities. The classical entrepreneurial spirit, flexibility and trust-based cooperative behavior, innovation skills and digital education are the key factors

 

 

INTERNATIONAL FASHION MAGAZINES

Author(s): Brian Moeran  

Because economies everywhere are concerned with the production, circulation, representation and consumption of goods and services, economic sociology has to address two interrelated spheres. One consists of people interacting - by themselves and in the company of others, forming networks, associations, corporations, and other institutions and organisations. Here we are concerned, broadly speaking with sociology (and social anthropology). The other sphere consists of people's relations to the things that they produce, circulate, represent and consume during the course of their interaction. Here the focus is more on (material) culture
This paper examines various aspects relating to the production, circulation, representation and consumption of international fashion magazines, as published in France, England, the USA, Japan and Hong Kong. Based on interviews, ethnography, data base, and content analysis, the study will try to show some of the paradoxes and contradictions faced by people (editors of all kinds, publishers, advertising executives, fashion photographers, readers and so on) in their interaction with things (the fashion magazines). Making use of Howard Becker's concept of working 'world' and Bourdieu's theory of 'field', the paper will try to outline both how the economic is inflected by the cultural, and vice versa, on the one hand; and how much culture does or does not influence the economy, and vice versa, on the other hand
Particular problems arising from this comparative study tend to emerge from the fact that different magazine industries in different parts of the world tend to develop rather different fields in which to operate and publish their products. This means, first of all, that a single title - like Elle, Marie Claire or Vogue - may have to alter radically its content in order to be competitive in a foreign market. Secondly, different features of magazine industries in different parts of the world may also affect an international fashion magazine's structure (both in ordering of editorial material and in the positioning of editorial and advertising pages). The paper will examine these paradoxes in the context of the five countries being studied and attempt to analyse further the relationship between 'culture' and 'economy' through international fashion magazines

 

 

THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN REGULATING BUSINESS

Author(s): Bridget Hutter and Joan O' Mahony

There has long been a recognition that regulatory space may be filled by a plurality of influences and sources of regulation but in recent years there has been a much greater recognition of non-state sources of regulation and a growing appreciation of the role such sources can play in managing the risks associated with economic life. This paper considers one of these sources, namely civil society organisations (CSOs), and focuses on their role in regulating business risks. Civil society has been proposed as a panacea for a range of practical, normative, and political problems
Practically, organisations in civil society provide information and innovation where more centralized administration fails. Normatively, these organisations attempt the introduction of ethical considerations into economic practices. And politically, they serve as an important resource for governments seeking the support and legitimation for centrally sponsored regulation. Yet, despite the potentials of civil society, the reality is that voluntary organisation, with isolated exceptions, seldom count. They are ineffective, sidelined, and poorly institutionalised within present regulatory regimes. In this paper, we consider the relationship between CSOs and regulation, assess their successes as players in regulatory space and assess how suited they really are to this role. We argue that while CSOs have the potential for significant leverage over business and government regulatory agendas their success is still fairly concentrated. We need to understand the conditions under which they are successful and also appreciate their limitations

 

 

THE CULTURAL BASICS ENTREPERNEURS BASED ON AND THE PROBLEMS OF ADJUSTING TO MARKET ECONOMY IN TURKEY

Author(s): Burhan Baloglu

Turkey has a special place among Western and Islamic countries because of its historical and cultural ties with these countries extending back for countries. Therefore entrepreneur behavior shows some differences. Entrepreneurs are social actors who play fundamental roles in key institutions of the market economy. In this paper I will try to demonstrate how Turkish entrepreneurs have been reacting against economic, social and political changes from 1923 to today. I show how these changes are socially constructed with structural change in Turkey

 

 

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SOCIAL ACTION IN EUROPEANS CORPORATIONS

Author(s): Chaime Marcuello Servós

The European Commission's published in year 2001, the Green Paper: Promoting a European framework for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This document continued a process what was started at the beginning of 90's and, now, it's opened. This is a process of reflection, participation and action inside "European" civil society and its corporations, in a global sense. As the Green Paper (2001,7) says: "corporate social responsibility is essentially a concept whereby companies decide voluntary to contribute to a better society and a cleaner environment". Traditionally, this social responsibility has been understood as a "social action/social intervention" from corporations promoting better living conditions in its employers and its circumstances. In this paper, we consider the praxis of the different actors, which are implied in the practices of CSR. From these coordinates, we describe some of their behaviours, strategies and positions. We use an approach based on the socio-cybernetic paradigm to do it. Therefore, first, we present in these pages a review of two issues: (i) the main documents of the European's Commission, (ii) the principal elements and relations of these systems of CSR. Second, we analyse some up-to-date Spanish cases to think their social implications. Third, we propose a prospective reflection in two ways, as strategic postulates and as normative prescriptions. Four, concluding, we finish explaining the future role of sociology in this field of CSR

 

 

AN INVESTIGATION ON 'INTERVENTION' IN ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY

Author(s): Chikako Nakayama  

This paper investigates the concept of intervention, focusing on liberalism and its debates in the interwar period. Typical dichotomy in economics is whether the state should intervene or let the economy function freely. But it is obvious on the other hand that liberalism since the period of classical economics presupposed some intervention of the state and that this dichotomy is incapable of explaining the issue. This dichotomy or the perspective to decide the degree of intervention allowed within the framework of liberalism be replaced for a different approach to intervention in economic sociology
I am going to start with the definition of intervention to take care of people's humanistic life, welfare and security by means of some power. In the structure of worldwide system with nation-states and inter-nation-states, intervention could be done whether under the name of, or in spite of the name of, national sovereignty. The interwar period saw this contradiction. I will examine this contradiction, looking into the rise of economic sociology and of neo-liberalism
The frame of reference is taken mainly from Karl Polanyi, who analyzed the contradiction with his 'The Great Transformation'. He developed his ideas during his stay in Vienna as immigrant and his acquaintances with liberals and socialists of German-speaking countries. In this sense, he experienced the changing phase around liberalism of the time at some distance
This paper will show how Polanyi, a self-acknowledged Marxist and humanist, comes to the acceptance of intervention and discuss possibly what it means in our contemporary context.

 

 

THE EMERGENCE OF THE MARKET ECONOMY AND THE CHANGES OF ECONOMIC VALUE SYSTEMS IN POST-COMMUNIST EUROPE, 1991-2001

Author(s): Christian W. Haerpfer

The proposed paper is analysing the emergence of market economy at the level of the individual citizen after the end of the Communist command economy. It is describing and explaining the structure and extent of societal support for the new macro-economic systems established after 1989. The paper will describe the emergence of the market economy and the structure and changes of individual economic values after the collapse of the Communist centrally planned economy. In the field of economic values, a variety of post-Communist societies will be differentiated between supporters of market values versus supporters of non-market and collective values and social groups with mixed groupings of economic values. The cross-national survey data-base of the paper is on the one hand the New Democracies Barometer which is being directed by the author since 1991 and conducted in 16 post-Communist countries and on the other hand the World (European) Values Surveys. The paper is comparing the emergence of the market economy first of all in the EU accession countries Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and secondly in the EU candidate countries Bulgaria and Romania. A third category of analysis is related to other post-Communist European countries such as Croatia, Serbia/Montenegro in Southeast Europe and Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and the Ukraine in Eastern Europe. The paper is comparing the emergence of the market economy and the changes of economic values in a longitudinal perspective between 1991 and 2001

 

 

CORPORATE LAW REFORM IN ISRAEL: THE DUAL TRAJECTORY OF STATE-CORPORATIONS RELATIONS

Author(s): Daniel Maman  

Different aspects of the relationship between state and economy have traditionally been examined, yet corporate governance and specifically corporate law have received less attention. This paper focuses on the legislation of the new corporate law in Israel at the end of the 1990s, which took place during regime transformation from an interventionist state to a regulatory state. The article makes specific reference to three disputes: the piercing of the corporate veil, the separation of the position of chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and the obligation of private firms to disclose financial reports. This case study facilitates the identification of two contradicting processes in the relationship between state and corporations, which are micro-economic institutions of capitalism. On the one hand, despite of the transformation of the regime, state actors are continuously involved both in the internal governance of corporations and the firm's relationship with the environment via corporate law. Such involvement is to large extent bound to public corporations. The continual involvement of the state in corporate governance will illustrate by the ban on the chairman of the board of public firms from serving as the CEO at the same time. On the other hand, the new reform was inspired by the American neo-liberal model and was heavily based on the 'Law and Economics' perspective, which holds the view that essentially there is no place for state involvement in corporate governance, except for correcting particular market failures. A major result of the neo-liberal reform led to the creation of social domains that are not constrained or regulated by the state. This is most typical in legislation relating to private corporations, and the outcome is that the corporate law enables corporations to constrain the state's power and its influence on property rights

 

 

THE MARKET AS SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION: INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE TRAVEL MARKET IN PRE-MODERN JAPAN

Author(s): David Chiavacci

The aim of this paper is to analyze the institutionalization of the travel market during the Edo-Period (1603-1868) in Japan. The social construction of economic markets and their embeddedness in society has received considerable attention in recent research in economic sociology. The travel market in pre-modern Japan is of special interest in the context of this research program as a very early example of a mass consumer market in the service sector. It enhances our theoretical understanding of the triangular relation between suppliers, consumers, and the political elite as a regulator in the social construction of markets. Oshi (lower priests of Shintoistic shrines and Buddhist temples) acted as entrepreneurs of the travel market and were the driving force behind its creation. Although they lacked the modern means of communication, they established trust relations with their costumers through vast social networks. As the costs of a long distance travel were not bearable individually for the majority of the population, associations for collective financing of the travel activities of members spread in the country. Traveling became a central aspect of the popular culture of the common population and was embedded in everyday social practice. Although the local feudal lords did not welcome the travel activities of the population, their dependency on the Ise Shrine and its oshi for keeping good diplomatic relations with the Tokugawa Shogunate as the central political authority forced them to restrain on their countermeasures

 

 

CULTURAL CONFLICT AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC VALUES. THE NEO-LIBERAL AND NEO-STATE UTOPIAS IN SPAIN

Author(s): Eduardo Bericat Alastuey

This paper shows some results from a research carried out to precisely determine value conflicts in the current Spanish culture. We will focus here on socio-economic ideologies. Based on data from a wide range of surveys, we will show, on the one hand, the socio-economic values nearly all Sapaniards agree with. On the other hand, we will show the socio-economic values half of the Sapaniards agree with and half do not. The first ones signal great "consensus" or agreements in the Spanish culture, whereas the second ones signal great "disensus" or disagreements. Analysing the structure of agreements and disagreements conformed by these socio-economic values, we have been able to define the state of the cultural conflict in this area of values. Particularly, we have found out that there is an exact balance between the value position close to the neo-liberal ideology, on the one hand, and the value position close to the neo-state ideology, on the other. This exact balance or equilibrium of values characterizes the postmodern culture, leaving an open-ended horizon to future social construction. Only taking into account this balance we will be able to figure out the socio-economic utopias of the next future

 

 

PHILANTHROPIC ACTION IN POST-COMMUNIST SETTINGS: POST-MODERN VALUES VS. TRADITIONAL CHARITY

Author(s): Egle Tamulyniene  

The paper is based on the definition that considers the civil society as action and institutions that occur without direct influence of political power. We put an emphasis on the action side of civil society and look at philanthropy as one of the specific aspects of the social action. There could be distinguished three types of agents in the philanthropic process: donors, intermediators and recipients. The quantitative research on the philanthropic action has been recently carried in Lithuania ( it was based on the interviews with the representatives of 3 agent groups). In our interpretation of data we use a three-fold typology of philanthropic action: macro level (value attitudes), mezzo level (organized interests) and micro level (individual action). A challenging dichotomy emerges: the philanthropic action based on postmodern values (prestige building, information society, individual expression) promoting innovation and dynamism overwhelms the traditional philanthropic action based on Christian morality orienting itself towards the relief of social dysfunction (provision of social care). The paradox lies in the fact, that the historical origin of philanthropic action is based namely on Christian morality. However, in nowadays philanthropic action appears from the reversed side: it gives priority to individual expression, communal bonds building and prestige achievement, but not social care and assistance in case of deprivation. Our study dwells on interpretation how concrete manifestations of the above mentioned dichotomy in philanthropic action is shaped by the agent's biography, political and civic value attitudes, one's experience in philanthropic action

 

 

USING FOREIGN EXCHANGE AS A SAVING IN TURKEY

Author(s): Filiz Baloglu

In Turkey most people prefer to save foreign exchange rather than the domestic currency. Today 60% of savings account constitutes foreign exchange. Besides we do not have an accurate information how many people keep their savings at home. In this situation the social effects are very significant as well as the economic effects. The aim which underpins the paper is that what kind of factors affect people to save foreign exchange. Saving habits are not only shaped economic factors so we need to determine historical, cultural and social factors

 

 

SELF-INTEREST, SOCIAL NETWORKS INFLUENCES AND STRUCTURAL EFFECTS. A DISCUSSION AROUND MARK GRANOVETTER SOCIOLOGY OF ECONOMIC LIFE

Author(s): Francois Collet  

This paper is a critical review of Mark Granovetter's theoretical view on the sociological analysis of economic life. Rather than a comprehensive record of the content and evolution of Granovetter's theoretical work, the main intent is to contribute to discussions on some issues of general interest in the epistemological debate on the sociological analysis of economic life. I examine the role of self-interest as a basic theoretical block and the influence of social networks as moderators. I also look at the mediating role of social networks in the formation social norms
I discuss the possibility of considering structural effects other than network effects without regressing to a substantialist analysis criticised rightly by Granovetter and other structural analysts such as Burt. I argue that the automatic inclusion by Granovetter of a calculative disposition to allocate scarce resources in the analysis of economic action is epistemologically unfounded and incompatible with his intent to address the limitations of economic models. Whilst any model of action, whether designed by an economist or a sociologist, should aim at the highest possible level of generality, the critical examination of the conditions of validity of the assumptions is necessary for progress in the scientific understanding of economic activities
I conclude that the inclusion of a self-interest factor should be the result of an analysis defining its social and historical conditions of validity rather than an unreflexive operation

 

 

SOCIAL PRACTICES OF INFORMAL ECONOMY AS THE SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OF THE ST.PETERSBURG FAMILIES IN THE PERIOD OF TRANSFORMATION

Author(s): Galina Eremitcheva

The recent reforms in Russia oriented at the positive goals of forming market relationships not always achieve the expected results. One of its alarming consequences is mass involvement of the population in the sphere of informal economy. In this condition the specific survival strategies are forming and different social practices of informal economy are used. The paper is based on the material of 100 in-depth interviews (1998-2000) with St.Petersburg families. The analysis allowed to find specific forms of this involvement and to interpret them as different forms of behavior in the process of adaptation to market relations. The framework of the interpretation of the notion of informal economy and activity allowed including in it both the traditional forms of informal relations and the new present-day ones. Informal economical activity is a consequence of intensive entering the market and as well of absence of elaborated effective legislate base. One of the main conclusions: the macro-economical movements may be counter-productive when they result in growth of most people's discontent with the existing conditions of life, in disrespectful attitude and distrust to the activity of the state authorities. Even most progressive reforms can not be of creative character if they will not be understood and supported by most of the population. Loss of confidence "everybody in everybody", failures of the reforms resulted in reinforcement of the principle of permissiveness and disrespect for the law. The destructive tendencies in the transformation of the society become more and more obvious, and hamper any possibilities of taking constructive decisions

 

 

THE MARKETING OF CHANGE - DIFFUSION OF MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS AND THE NEW ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY

Author(s): Gertraude Mikl-Horke 

Diffusion of management innovation studies are usually based on communication theory. The new economic sociological perspective offers a view more relevant to this particular item of diffusion. The dynamic potential of diffusion research can contribute in its turn to grasp the present change processes in our societies more adequately. The view presented includes institutional and power network approaches as well as a conception of a special market for the diffusion of management innovations. This should make it possible to understand how the aspects of legitimacy and routinization of change, the power aspects of relations within and between firms and the interests of the actors in the diffusion market work together

 

 

CHILDREN'S PERSPECTIVES ON THE MEANING OF MONEY IN POST-DIVORCE FAMILIES

Author(s): Gry Mette Dalseng Haugen  

Several studies have addressed the significance of money in understanding the consequences of divorce. The economic consequences for children has been primarily described using terms like 'loss of economic capital', 'economic hardship' or 'economic deprivation'. In this paper I examine and theorize complex relations and trade-offs among money and love, arguing that children's viewpoint can illuminate the question of money in post-divorce families in new and insightful ways. I argue that children point's of view challenge the traditional sociological division between money and love as two separate spheres. The analysis is inspired by ideas about economic sociology put forward by Marcia Millman and Viviana Zelizer. By focusing the meaning of money, and how money becomes a currency for both love and care, I make the argument with both empirical examples and theoretical discussion
The findings presented in this paper are from interviews with both children and parents in post-divorce families. I also draw upon information from a regional Norwegian survey to show how issues from the interviews fit into a larger picture
Keywords: Money, divorce, children's perspective

 

 

WHY SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL. THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL POLICY PERFORMANCE OF SMALL VS. BIG STATES IN EUROPE

Author(s): Heiner Ganßmann  

Much of the discussion about welfare states and varieties of capitalism starts from typologies, ordering capitalisms and welfare states according to various criteria associated with nation states and their political traditions: Liberal and coordinated market economies (Soskice), liberal, social democratic and conservative welfare state regimes (Esping-Andersen), etc. However, recent European experience seems to suggest that both economic and social policy performance vary much more with country size than with anything else. In the paper, I will first describe the differences in performance between small and big countries in Europe. Then I will examine attempts to explain these differences by economists, political scientists and sociologists. Most of them are too narrow, explaining the positive performances of some countries, but not those of others. I will suggest a more general explanation, relying on differences in communication patterns. These communication patterns allow small country agents to overcome coordination problems more easily than in big countries, thus increasing their capacities of adaptive institutional innovation

 

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ISSUE AS A SOCIOLOGICAL CONFLICT: CULTURE AND THE ECONOMIC LOGIC IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD

Author(s): Igor Sádaba Rodriguez  

Issues related to Intellectual Property have recently come to the fore linked to essential conflicts in advanced industrial societies. However, a few works have been made from a strictly sociological point of view. In this paper we suggest a new way of dealing with them. First, we locate the conflicts within its appropiate historical framework (the commercialization of the ideas and the immaterial work, the cultural industries and mass consumption, the new technologies of information and Internet, the status of the authors in Culture and Science, the regulation of the cultural field, etc.). Second we provide with a sociological context to understand the conflict in which we observe the struggle between an individualist economic logic (ideas as commodities, private author's rights, copyrights, patents and trademarks, etc.) and a collective social one (ideas as public goods, the cooperative character of cultural production, the right to access to information, etc.). Although current Intellectual Property policies are strengthening legal protection we are currently in a moment of re-definition and choice of the models of cultural regulation that will deeply affect the core of our social forms of living. We finally propose a connection between Economic Sociology and Sociological Theory trough a renewal of the "forgotten" Conflict Theory in Contemporary Sociology
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AGEING ON (WELFARE) MARKETS: THE FUTURE EMBEDDING OF ECONOMIC TRANSACTIONS IN THE FIELD OF OLD AGE PROVISION

Author(s): Ingo Bode  

The future embedding of economic transactions in the field of old age provision How society is managing old age is going to become a major problem of social integration in the western world. Inspired mainly by demographic concerns, current debates especially address institutional forms of old age provision, understood as a set of technical means by which a given society is supporting people at the age of retirement or in need of socio-medical care. Historically, the related economic transactions have adopted varying forms. A vast proportion of these transactions were processed within private systems of social reciprocity. To some degree, and increasingly, organisations of civil society have been involved, especially in the field of eldercare. More importantly, saving for retirement became socialized for a large part of the working classes, be it by social insurances, be it by company pension plans
For some years now, and on an international scale, larger sections of old age provision are transferred to the market, entailing an intrusion of 'the economy', more concretely, of commercial agency into the societal organization of old age
The British case is emblematic for this, but even in traditional welfare states such as France and Germany, privatisation is underway, at least partially. Old age is going to be 'traded' on welfare markets
Form a sociological point of view, however, the social character of markets matter. Generally, markets are embedded in a non-market order. Markets of social welfare are supposed to be ruled by a multitude of particular non-market orientations, linked for instance to the normative legacy of the welfare state and to civic actors who had been its promoters. Framing elements such as trust, equity, need, voice, protection against accidents can be figured out as constitutive or regulative forces. These elements serve as references for economic transactions (e.g. the expectation of security), but also for the building of new regulatory agencies (supposed to compensate informational asymmetries). The paper argues for an economic sociology of welfare markets as an important agenda for future theory and research, in order to find out by what kind of social mechanisms old age is going to be managed by a post-welfare-state society

 

 

RATIONALIZATION OF ACTION AS (DIS)INCENTIVE TO WORK

Author(s): Jani Erola  

Previous research results have shown that some people choose to work even if welfare benefits would guarantee them higher income than the low-income work. What explains this? Are the ones working with low income valuing working so much more positively than being without work that they choose to work even if they were better off as unemployed? Or do they just pay more attention to other risks connected to being outside normal employment, being thus more risk- aware than other persons? If compared to low-income workers, are the persons in the households without work or capital income more clearly instrumentally oriented, choosing not to work because of sufficient income even without spending their time in working? These assumptions are studied with Finnish national-level survey data 'Finland 1999'. In order to test the hypotheses, the dimensions of rationality of action are derived empirically from a set of attitude variables. The low-income workers are compared to persons in families without work or capital income as their main source of income, as well as to rest of population outside these two groups. The effects of important background variables, such as gender and family structure, are also considered
While there has been some research on disincentive effects of different types of welfare subsidies on working, the comparison of economically 'irrational' workers and 'rational welfare-freeriders' has not been conducted before. Theoretically the paper follows recent suggestions for 'weberian' version of sociological rational action theory

 

 

UNEARNED WEALTH. DISCURSIVE STRUCTURES AND THE REGULATION OF WEALTH TRANSMISSION IN FRANCE, GERMANY AND THE UNITED STATES

Author(s): Jens Beckert

The question how to regulate the bequest of wealth has been an issue of great controversy in modern societies over the last 200 years. In this paper I analyze the discursive structures of inheritance law debates in France, Germany and the United States. I argue in the first part that in each country a distinct sets of issues and arguments have developed that exercise a dominant influence over the perception of the problems associated with the transfer of wealth mortis causa and the strategies deemed feasible to solve them. These culturally framed "notions of property" remain stable over long periods of time and shape discourses on inheritance law. They equip actors with culturally legitimated patterns of justification for the support or opposition to specific measures. In the second part of the paper I look at the actual development of one important field of inheritance law, estate taxation. I will describe the enduring differences which developed with regard to inheritance taxation and ask how this institutional development can be explained. Considering the distinct discursive structure in each of the three countries, it is looked at the contribution of the cultural frames to the legal changes. This shall help to analyze institutional development within a pluralistic theoretical framework that acknowledges the influence of culture, but also considers functional demands as well as economic and social interests

 

 

EDUCATION, SKILLS AND ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING

Author(s): Kate Purcell and Peter Elias  

Since the 1960s, social theorists have anticipated the growth of 'the knowledge society', where the increasing importance of information, communication and technological expertise would lead to increased demand for highly-skilled and highly educated workers. In the UK - as in most developed and developing countries - successive government policies have significantly extended provision of and participation in higher education. How have these changes manifested themselves in terms of employment opportunities for highly qualified and less well-qualified labour market entrants? Drawing on detailed work history and interview data from a sample survey of over 4,000 respondents who completed undergraduate degrees in 1995 at 38 UK higher education institutions, surveys of graduates who completed their studies before the expansion of higher education, national cohort studies and labour force surveys spanning the last 25 years, we investigate change in early graduate career profiles and, most particularly, the occupational distribution of the 1995 sample. What do graduates do? On the basis of analysis of the survey data and accounts by graduates of their work roles and labour processes, we introduce a new classification of graduate jobs, and discuss the different labour market access inherent in different types of degree course and the implications of higher education expansion for opportunities more widely. Is the concept of 'the knowledge society' useful in discussion of occupational change at the start of the 21st century?

 

 

VALUES OF MONEY AND MONEY AS A VALUE: HOW MONEY CHANGES LIVES

Author(s): Katerina Gerasimova

The paper is devoted to the reflections on changes of people's attitudes toward money and monetary relations, which have been taking place since market economy started developing in the post-Soviet space. It is commonplace that in the Soviet society there was a big deal of exchange economy, blat practices (exchange of favors), investments of personal and family resources in household's economies due to shortage and limited access to goods and services. Recent studies and daily life observations clearly show that in post-Soviet society the accent has shifted to lack of cash and access to well-paid jobs. Money became more valuable in economic as well as in social meaning and the American model of success (expressed in wealth) seems to be dominate. This topic in post-Soviet context was already partly touched by some social networks researchers, and the influence of monetary relations on solidarity relations was grasped already by theoreticians of modernization. However, this market consciousness has not seized all people equally: attitudes toward money, importance of economic stratification and extent of involvement in monetary relations depend upon many factors, among them can be named income, carrier of mobility, occupation, lifestyle values, etc. The questions to be discussed are follows: how the rapid socio-economic transformation into market society with a result of preoccupation of society with money has been influencing 1) people's everyday practices of treating money, 2) social networks, 3) making of social boundaries, i.e. social differentiation process.

 

 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS AGEING WOMEN'S INCOME STRATEGY IN EARLY TWENTIETH-CENTURY FINLAND

Author(s): Kirsi Vainio-Korhonen  

This paper focuses on the life course of ageing urban women at the point of life at which they became entrepreneurs and/or started as self-employed persons. It seems that there were gender differences in this respect. The majority of the female business starters whom I have studied were either middle-aged or approaching it, their median age being 41 years. Their male counterparts started their businesses at a clearly younger age, their median age being 36 years. The modal age of men was as much as ten years lower than the respective female value. Thus for the women in my study entrepreneurship was a phenomenon associated with ageing whereas this was not the case as regards men
Why were most of female business starters middle-aged? Why were so many of them married or widowed? For many women employment in factories and shops, for example, was no longer accessible once they got married. Self-employment may also have been an alternative for wage-earning work lost at the brink of middle age. Moreover, only later in their lives women could shift the focus of their entrepreneurial activities to the public domain or to open air. It seems that entrepreneurship was often a way of life that matched with the needs of ageing women. The paper suggests that entrepreneurship and self-employment provided an alternative for women who for reasons such as ageing, deteriorated physical condition, marriage or childbearing were losers in the labour market

 

 

SOCIAL CAPITAL AND THE EMERGENCE OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISES IN EUROPE

Author(s): Lars Hulgård

My paper will discuss the connection between social capital and social enterprises in three ways:
1: Relating to the growing impact of social economy in Europe. The paper discusses the results from af study undertaken by the European Research Network EMES on social enterprises and social entrepreneurship in Europe. 2: Discussing the role of social enterprises in the social economy with the emphasis on social cpaital
3: Presenting the results of the Danish case-study related to the research project: "The Socio-Economic Performance of Social Enterprises in the Field of Integration by Work"

 

 

EDUCATIONAL EXPANSION, CHANGES IN HOUSEHOLD FORMATION AND FEMALE LABOUR SUPPLY- PROCESSES. THEIR RELATIVE CONTRIBUTION TO THE EVOLUTION OF INTER-HOUSEHOLD EARNINGS INEQUALITY OVER TIME

Author(s): Leire Salazar

The research question of this paper could be formulated as follows: To what extent have changes related to the increasing labour force participation of women over time in combination with changes in the processes of household formation contributed to an increase or decrease in earnings inequality among households, and how can differences across countries be explained? The extent and manner in which women's labour supply and their earnings can contribute to reinforcing or rather softening these inequalities is the ultimate objective of the paper. To do so, I take into account not only changes related to the increase in the amount of labour that they supply, but also to changes in the processes of household formation (the changes in the composition of households and the trends in assortative mating) and the different incentives to participate in the labour market that women in different types of households face
The paper presents an overview of the major changes in the distribution of earned income among households for six European countries and the U.S. Moreover, it assesses the impact of different explanatory factors on this distribution over time
Using data from the Luxembourg Income Study, a counterfactual analysis is carried out, considering what would have hypothetically happened to earnings distribution in the latest point in time if certain relevant factors (especially women's educational level and labour participation, earnings correlation between spouses, marriage rate) had remained unchanged at the level of a previous point in time. The method that is used, Kernel density estimation, rather than estimating changes in the average value of the distribution, focuses on the estimation of the density of the whole distribution, what provides better leverage about where in the earnings distribution the above mentioned factors had a major effect

 

 

CONCEPTIONS OF AGENCY IN ECONOMICS AND IN SOCIOLOGY: A THEORETICAL SYNTHESIS FROM AN ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY PERSPECTIVE

Author(s): Leszek Chajewski and Aleksander Manterys

The theory of agency in economics shows the mechanism of transmittal of principal's interests to the agent so he becomes the principal's perfect proxy. The "separation of ownership and control" vanishes and an organizational equilibrium results. The sociological theory of agency explains how individuals become attracted to collective objectives
Superficially, these approaches are poles apart: one explains how to make an individual an instrument of profit-maximizing stakeholders; the other explains how individuals dissolve into social identities
The sociological vision of agency is simply broader than its economic counterpart. Weber, for example, asked under what circumstances a utilitarian paradigm becomes the dominant form of a social identity. When such situation occurs, the problem of agency is no longer, as economists maintain, one of eliminating social motivations because they "contaminate" the purity of individual's rational behavior. If it were the case, the principal of a perfect agent would now plunge into a contradiction as he would be incenting the agent to doing what he would have done anyway
Sociological theory of agency does not explain the sources of economic individualism.The strong embeddedness position in economic sociology explains all human agency forms. It relates human economic behavior to social norms, particularly distributive principles. An utilitarian order is a version of a distributive order, hence economic behavior can be socially subordinated to it, although through a very special mechanism, namely quasi-embeddedness. Sections: 1. Embeddedness thesis; 2. Extra-economic, non-contractual conditions of human action in classical sociology; 3. Agency in economics and sociology; 4. Quasi-embeddedness

 

 

FROM FUR COAT TO DESIGNER FASHION: THE TRANSFORMATION OF A LUXURY INDUSTRY

Author(s): Lise Skov  

This paper examines the recent trend for fur in terms of a market repositioning which has been carried out in response to the anti-fur campaigns of the 1980s. It traces the trajectory of the mink coat from its rise in the early part of the 20th century to its fall in the 1980s when it was attacked as a wasteful form of cruelty to animals. The connotation of bourgeois femininity is a powerful undercurrent that has, in fact, attracted critics throughout the era of the fur coat. The present revival of fur is based on innovative usage in garments, trimmings and accessories as a part of the overall fashion trend. In some respects, the fur business has taken over anti-fur arguments in launching fur as the ultimate natural fibre, a second skin. Furthermore, the paper analyses the repositioning of fur in terms of the transformation of commodity chains. Special attention will be paid to the role played by the Copenhagen fur auctions and their marketing branch, Saga that has worked consistently to teach designers fur techniques. The paper concludes with reflections on where power is located in contemporary fashion production

 

 

INEQUALITY IN THE ERA OF GLOBALIZATION

Author(s): Magdalini Psarrou

The economic and social theory of the last centuries is founded on the basis of the national state and the national societies. Today we observe phenomena, which show that the social framework of the nation-state becomes obtuse. Productivity with the most various technical, electronic, administrative, psychological and cultural dimensions is an international slogan. The rationalism that Max Weber refers to develops in an intensive and generalized way in the company, the monopoly and the multinational enterprises, whose wide capital reproduction focuses on more internationalized models. Capitalism changes into an empirical, specific international system of production and culture and reforms all types of the social structure. In the same dynamics the national state changes, the importance of the area it represents and the aims it pursues change too. Of course, the national state continues to be related to the markets expansion, to the free transfer of the production factors, to the participation of the less developed areas in wider social formations. Today the development or under development of a country owes more to the position it occupies in the international division of labor hierarchy and less to the pace of its economic enlargement. In the era of globalization the dynamics of capital expanded reproduction has not abolished dependency and imperialism. On the contrary it has caused the intense concentration of economic power, which does not preclude the prospect of poverty spreading in the world. The distance between the developed and underdeveloped countries is growing despite considerable efforts to achieve, a phenomenon that needs to be explained

 

 

REGIONAL ECONOMIC GOVERNANCE IN SPAIN: THE SOCIO-INSTITUTIONAL SYSTEMS OF CATALONIA AND BASQUE REGION'S INDUSTRIAL ECONOMIES

Author(s): Manu Ahedo

After 20 years of political stability and decentralization in Spain, regional development dynamics have taken both converging and diverging directions. Regional Governments since the mid 80s have undertaken most of the industrial and education policies, and have also deployed important innovation and skill-training policy initiatives. Similarly, regional societies have experienced slow but important structural changes, especially in institutional and organizational terms. In this paper I analyse how and why there have been constituted in this period different socio-institutional systems of industrial economies in the Basque Country and Catalonia, the two most industrialized regions in Spain. First, I present the theoretical frame of the evolutionary socio-institutional system of industrial economies, which integrates governance and neo-corporatist theories with economic institutional sociology. Second, based on a historical qualitative methodology, two instances are analysed: a) the evolution of industrial, education and innovation policies developed by the regional governments, focusing especially on the differing pattern of industrial cluster policy in both regions during the 90s; and b) the evolution of the associational organization of industrial interests since the recovery of the association law in 1977, focusing on the dynamics of industrial and professional sectors. Third, I analyse how the mutual interplay between these two factors has resulted in two different forms of regional economic governance: an industrial civil society form in Catalonia, and a dual government-industry form in the Basque Region. Finally, it is concluded that societies learn to organize their socio- economic and industrial development under institutional and organizational factors

 

 

EMERGING ENTREPRENEURIAL SOCIETY. A CASE STUDY OF SELF-EMPLOYED OWNERS OF SMALL BUSINESSES IN POLAND

Author(s): Maria Nawojczyk  

The process of transformation from centralized and managed economy to market economy in Poland was and still is organized by the state. The state authorities are establishing the market institutions, setting the nwe laws and regulations, privatizing state-owned enterprises
Nevertheless, the continuing process of systemic changes should lead to the eruption of individual activity in economy. Two millions newly established private businesses are proof of these expectations. This emerging sector of economy stimulates the debate on the role of small business in capitalist economy
Based on 50 in-depth interviews, conducted last summer in Poland among self-employed owners of small businesses, I would like to discuss the issue of them being 'the essence of capitalism'. Regarding their educational backgroud and work experience as well as their understanding the role of market economy, I will argue that their decission of self-employment is rather a survival strategy than embodiment of entrepreneurial attitudes. This I will elaborate on the examples of their everyday work and their way of do business
Therefore, their importance in transforming economy is rather social than economic nature. They will not contribute to growing and stregthening market economy but they contribute to changing attitudes of individuals, from seeking support from the state toward being independent and self-reliant

 

 

THE GLUE THAT WILL HOLD SOCIOLOGY AND ECONOMICS TOGETHER

Author(s): María Semitiel García y Pedro Noguera Méndez 

The dominant tradition in economic research recognises the importance of social relationships just like a general principle. This is the situation even if there is a general consensus among economists about the social character of economics. Therefore, social links are rarely considered in economic theories and models. However, there could be a change in few years. This paper discusses the relevance of the social capital concept to connect diverse disciplines, and mainly to link economic and sociological research. This link comes from the recognition of social capital as one of the engines for economic development, as a determinant factor for the results that firms, organisations, regions and nations can reach. In this paper there is a critique to the application of social capital as another quantitative variable to be included in the production function. Therefore, we propose the application of social network analysis methodology to the economic research. The objective is to identify individuals and institutions as social actors embedded in a complex relationship net, and therefore moving away from the orthodox economic analysis. The social network methodology is based on a structural analysis and on the embeddedness concept (Granovetter, 1973). From this methodological perspective it is possible to analyse main economic questions, like the market functioning, the consumer behaviour and the conditions for growth and development, by considering the social context of individuals and institutions

 

 

MARKET DYNAMICS, CLASSIFICATIONS AND GLOBALISATION

Author(s): Marie-France Garcia-Parpet  

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the role of classifications in market dynamics, using French wines as an example, in the context of globalisation. Economic and sociological literature emphasises the advantages of classifications, which by providing a clear, codified view of product quality, allow the consumer to be better informed. This in turn helps minimise the risk of poor sales and creates opportunities for producers by establishing niche markets
Those producers who undertake to certify their products can benefit from a new product image, thus solidifying their reputation. A good example is the French regulatory system of designation of origin (AOC), which ensures a socially established hierarchy of the different wine productions and their regions of origin
What about the strategies of producers located in regions which do not benefit from an official classification, and who nonetheless make qualitative investments, whereas confidence has a direct impact on their economic tendencies? What are the socio-historical conditions that might allow for new classification systems to be developed and that could provide for more competition between the various classification systems?
To answer these questions, let us take the experience of two winegrowers in Languedoc-Roussillon (discredited region of the South of France), who present very different social backgrounds-one comes from a traditional family and previously worked as a manufacturer in the luxury leather industry; the other is a simple. It will be demonstrated that the first winegrower's social and cultural capital allowed him to make the most of the exceptional qualities of a soil that had been downgraded, in a region where the production has been largely discredited, and take advantage of foreign classifications in order to attain world renown. It will also be shown that this charismatic producer is at the origin of many winegrowing businesses whose managers lacked not so much in financial capital or technical know-how, but rather in confidence in the symbolic value of their product. We will compare this experience with that of the second winegrower, who having much less social capital, has found his production downgraded by the newcomer winegrowers, who are for the most part executives-turned-viticulturists, and more familiar with the international market and its classifications

 

 

AGE, GENDER AND INTERNAL LABOUR MARKET IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY FINLAND

Author(s): Marjatta Rahikainen  

Using the studies of Claudia Golding(1990)and Lars Svensson(1995)as a theoretical frame of reference, this paper will discuss Finnish women's labour market behaviour up to the 1970s by which it had become fairly similar with that of men. In Finland women made the labour reserve while immigrant labour had no role. The paper addresses the following questions: when did women's job tenures became longer and more 'male-like'? did the internal labour market offer anycareer opportunities for women in clerical work? how about women in manufacturing work? what was women's life-long wage development like? up to what age women continued to work before the introduction of old-age pension schemes? The argument is based on a case study of Rosenlew Corporation, a Finnish manufacturing firm with a diversified product range. In 1964, when the managers were particularly concerned with the question of ageing employees, in Rosenlew there were 475 women in 'blue-collar' jobs and 312 in 'white-collar' jobs. For the period 1928-1952 the registers over employees offer detailed enough information to allow comparison between i) careers, job tenures, wage development and fringe benefits of male vs female employees, ii) job tenures of women in clerical, manufacturing and cleaning work; and iii) job tenures of single, widowed and married women.

 

 

THE MOBILE COMMUNITY: PROFESSIONALS AND CLASS IN MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS

Author(s): Ödül Bozkurt

Although the human consequences of the purportedly increasing power of multinational corporations (MNCs) vis-à-vis nation-states have been discussed extensively, little attention has been paid to whether and how MNCs' activities relate to the formation of a transnational class. In my paper, I investigate whether MNCs are sites for the formation of an increasingly less nation-state bound, more transnational social class and/or community comprised of high-skilled workers/professionals. I identify four constitutive parts of the question: I first ask how "transnational" employment by MNCs has become in terms of the composition of the professional workforce on the one hand, and of the individual career trajectory, on the other. Secondly, I inquire whether professionals at MNCs constitute a "group" with fundamental similarities in their employment experiences, so as to point at the formation of a class-in-itself. Thirdly, I am interested in finding out if there is an "imagined community" of the MNC that informs the professionals' self-identification in a way that renders the group a class-for-itself. Finally, I seek to understand how the possible formation of a transnational class through MNC employment impinges on the ways professionals draw upon other pools of welfare and meaning, especially those tied to membership in national polities. I pursue these questions in a comparative, multiple-site study within the context of the mobile telecommunications sector and include in the empirical investigation the high-skilled employees of Nokia of Finland, Ericsson of Sweden, and Motorola of the USA. The conference paper will deal with the case of Ericsson employees in Sweden, based on evidence collected during semi-structured, in-depth, face-to-face interviews in 2003

 

 

AESTHETIC MARKETS IN GARMENT PRODUCTION

Author(s): Patrik Aspers 

The purpose of this paper is to present a theoretical framework of what is called aesthetic markets. This type of markets captures central parts of today's Western economy. The theory centers on aesthetic values. Aesthetic markets encompass marketing and design, and it is contrasted with industrial markets, which is production oriented. Markets are discussed in relation to global garment production, and especially the link between garment buyers and vendors. It is argued that one can disentangle the global economy by analysing it in terms of markets

 

 

RESEARCH STRATEGIES FOR ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY: COMPLEMENTARY ARTICULATION VERSUS SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION IN EXPLAINING VARIATION IN COMPETITION AND PRICES

Author(s): Peder Inge Furseth

We here study to what extent sociological variables like social networks and symbolic consumption influence economic variables like competition and prices. The empirical setting is the clothing sector at the retail level, and 190 managers in 18 Norwegian towns are interviewed. Here competition is expected to be particularly strong and we therefore mainly expect eceonomic explanatory variables to work. If sociological explanatory variables influence competition and prices in this setting, the sociological variables should work in other sectors as well. Competition turns out not to be very strong at the local level. Social networks lead to a lower degree of price competition, but do not increase prices. Symbolic consumption increase prices at the retail level. The paper offers explanation of these findings. Based on these explanations we discuss research strategies for economic sociology. We suggest that complementary articulation is more adequate than social construction, although some results indicate that a combination of the two strategies may be fruitful at times

 

 

FINNISH ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENTS - FROM A VICIOUS TO A VIRTUOUS CIRCLE?

Author(s): Pekka Kosonen

Recently, the Finnish economy has been regarded as a good example of a dynamic information society, with a rapidly expanding high-tech sector. This picture is completely different than that of a one-sided, crisis-prone economy which prevailed some 10 to 15 years ago. In particular, Finland experienced a deep recession in the first half of the 1990s; unemployment soared to one of the highest in the OECD area, and several welfare state cuts were implemented in the name of 'economic imperatives'. However, the shift towards high-tech economic development was already underway, to be strengthening soon. The latter half of the 1990s witnessed a rise of network production with rapidly increasing export markets, and researchers such as Manuel Castells have written on Finland as one of the leading information societies that also has maintained its welfare arrangements. - The purpose of the paper is to try explain these - at least seemingly - contradictory developmental phases; from a vicious circle to a virtuous circle. First, the time period under consideration is the 'long 1990s' (from mid- 1980s to this year) - otherwise many changes cannot be understood. Second, from a perspective of comparative sociological research, such underlying factors as the welfare state and social bonds as well as the extensive and decentralized system of education are emphasized
This then comes close to the present discussions on the importance of 'social capital'

 

 

UNDESERVEDLY FORGOTTEN? FISCAL SOCIOLOGY AT THE CROSSROADS

Author(s): Rafael Marques

Despite the importance and centrality of the tax system in today's advanced societies, Fiscal Sociology remains an undeveloped research field. Contrary to expectations, after Schumpeter's path breaking text - The Crisis of the Tax State - and some important works produced by Rudolf Goldscheid in the early 1920s, the research area of fiscal sociology has failed to take-off. Contemporary economic sociologists tend do discard the topic, concentrating their efforts on the study of markets, social capital, trust, networks, globalization, business groups or entrepreneurship. The state, its regulatory dynamics and the taxation mechanisms can be considered the weakest links in Economic Sociology. This neglect can easily be confirmed if we pay close attention to the shining handbooks, anthologies and textbooks published in recent years. All of them fail to dedicate chapters or sections to taxation and fiscal matters. Recently, however, Jürgen Backaus made a strong point in favor of fiscal sociology, offering some insights that can eventually lead to the revamping of a dying field. In the United States, John Campbell and Richard Wagner have also been testing a sociological framework to the study of the tax system. In Germany, the country where the tradition of Finanzsoziologie is indisputably stronger, Birger Nerré is trying, although not in an entirely successful way, to give a new soul to the concept of tax culture. In this paper I'll claim that fiscal sociology is central to the development of a consistent project of Economic Sociology. Secondly, I will state the viability of extending some central theoretical concepts of the New Economic Sociology (NES) - such as embeddedness and imprinting - to fiscal issues. Thirdly, I will redefine the concept of tax culture in such a way as to reconcile it with the agenda of the NES. Finally, I will propose several research avenues that can, eventually, give a new push to Fiscal Sociology

 

 

ECONOMY AND MORALITY: THE END OF ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY

Author(s): Ralph Fevre  

When economic sociologists feel that moral considerations matter, they do not pit morality against economic rationality but argue that the morality they favour also happens to be economically rational. In Europe, for example, economic sociologists have argued that the desiderata of left-leaning social democracies make organisations and countries more competitive. Economic sociology does further damage to morality when it treats it as a means to economic ends. The advantage of the new sociology of economic behaviour (over economic sociology) is that it returns to the classical mission to make the investigation of the moral consequences of economic behaviour an end in itself. Yet, because the economic values of efficiency, moving resources to more productive uses, accumulation and so on, have assumed such hegemony, we cannot simply take up where classical theory left off. By levelling the playing field between economic values and morality it will become easier to measure economic behaviour against values that do not involve calculation and the estimation of increased productivity or improved competitiveness. To do this we need to show that most of the claims to efficacy made by economic sociology, and indeed by wider economic rationality, are based on a grossly inflated notion of the capabilities of social science. Once economic values are cut down to size we can move on to generate concepts that operationalise morality (cheap labour, a fair day's work) in order to organise the research agenda for the new sociology of economic behaviour

 

 

EUROPEAN LOTTERY MARKETS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. THE INSTITUITIONAL ORIGINS OF SYNDICATE PLAY IN SPAIN

Author(s): Roberto Garvía   

Available evidence indicates that since the second half of the nineteenth century and up to the last decade of the twentieth century Spain has, worldwide, ranked first regarding lottery sales in terms of GDP. Orthodox neoclassical economic theory contends that lottery consumption is not rational. In this article, I will make use of neoinstitutional theory to explain the outstanding attraction of Spaniards towards lotteries. I will explore in comparative terms the embeddedness of lottery markets and its intitutional determinants in four countries: Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain in the second half of the nineteenth century, when Spain took a deviant path regarding lottery behaviour. I will contend that syndicate play (this is to say, the informal organization of groups of players who, relying on interpersonal trust, share a lottery ticket), can account for the deviant behavior of Spaniards towards lotteries. Agency theory is employed to explain the unequal impact of syndicate play in those countries as well as the institutional developmet of national lottery markets.

 

 

POWER AND TRUST IN CLASICAL ECONOMIC SOCIOLOGY

Author(s): Roberto Herranz

The purpose of this essay is to study the roles that "power" and "trust" play in the dynamic social relations of the market, being two key components according to Weber,Durkheim,Simmel,Cooley and other clasical sociologists. Apart from criticizing the "formal and lean conception" of the neoclasical market and its rational system,we propose a natural,undetermined and open system that offers the possibility to integrate the contributions of these outstanding figures to economic sociology
First of all, we present the different ways that social relacions of markets are embedded into the environment, by incoporating social structures, systems of power and culture.Among our classical sociologists,the context is not only a social limitation that constrains social behaviour, but also a matrix that contributes to the constitution and development of the social actor and his capabilities,introducing certainty into the market
In second place, we consider the market as an arena of social interaction, under the conditions of competence and bargaining, that is characterized by the following:
1)The ambivalence between power and cooperation
2)A social learning process affecting the practical and social rationality of different actors,in such a way that the socially define others and, by doing so, could contribute to stabilizing the social environment

 

 

THE DARK SIDE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL: INFORMAL NETWORKS AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION IN CENTRAL ASIA

Author(s): Roman Novojilov 

In this paper I offer an analysis of the positive impacts that social relations and norms that are based on identities and solidarities have had on regional socio-economic and political development in Central Asia during the decade of transition and attempt to uncover and analyze the negative effects of social exclusion that is also rooted in existing social and normative structures. In doing so, I am using the analytical framework of research on social capital for analysis of several case studies done in the region in the last decade are presented and analyzed in this respect. While accepting many critical points against (mis)use of the rising theory of social capital, such as the limited exploratory power of the approach that combines cultural relativism with narrow functionalism coupled with the lack of consistency and agreement on the scope and use of the concept, we argue that this framework, if enhanced with solid conceptual and empirical apparatus, can be a useful analytical tool for explaining some of the important socio-economic processes in the local contexts. In order to do it effectively and gain explanatory credibility, the framework needs to depart from its appeal to the neo-liberal economic analysis and avoid cultural relativism. This paper is an attempt to construct such redefined framework of social capital on using the study of socio-economic transition in the countries of Central Asia
The paper aims specifically at analyzing the detrimental effects of social capital that are rooted in the closure of social networks and affiliations and exclusion of outsiders from use of resources including accumulated social capital. Here we follow the logic of the commonly accepted distinction between the "bonding" and "bridging" social capital that has gained a lot of attention in the recent academic discourse. According to this view, social inclusion that is based on commonly shared values and norms ("bridges") can successfully facilitate development prospects for the community, while social exclusion that results from the closure of social networks ("bonds") is able of critically impairing the prospects for development and equitable distribution of its results among the population. Corruption, ethnic and civil conflicts and political violence are just a few of the negative consequences of such a closure and resulting social exclusion
The case of Central Asian countries is illustrative in this respect since it offers a wealth of evidence of such social closures and exclusion in both economic and political areas. As it was argued by some experts in the region, the emphasis on analysis of social networks, norms and solidarities existing in the region, is critical for explaining the local socio-economic processes such as patron-client relations tribalism, clans which pervade political and economic life and perpetuate, preventing internal and external efforts from success. In this paper show the mechanisms of functioning of social links and networks on economic development through conceptualizing and applying an enhanced framework of social capital, offer both explanation to the successes and failures that the countries in the region have undergone

 

 

MARKETS TRANSACTIONS SOCIOLOGY VERSUS MARKET SOCIOLOGY

Author(s): Ronan Le Velly 

This paper aims at considering the theoretic tools sociology offers to study market issues
I shall begin by presenting the work of some researchers who have been sharing the project of a New Economic Sociology. I name this approach Market transactions sociology. By this title, I stress the rich sociological theory of action that the notion of embeddedness allows. What's more in using the plural in "market transactions", I indicate the absence of market uniform model. Social context enables, constrains and shapes market transactions in different ways
It remains to be proven if the specificity of the market phenomenon is not disregarded in this approach. I label Market sociology the works of past authors, especially Max WEBER, who all stress the distinctive characteristics of the market exchange compared with other forms of goods transactions. This term is not due to the lack of sociological theory of action but to the fact that this action is perceived through a typical picture, combining formal rationality and impersonality. Besides, Market sociology aims at seriously considering the consequences on social issues of the development of market logic and deals with macro-historical features like capitalism
Then, in confronting these two research traditions, I shall highlight some oversights or inadequacies in New Economic Sociology
My theoretical presentation is illustrated with some empirical examples of practices of "fair trade" (world charity shops and label), which are thought as "alternative to the market" while being, in actual fact, part of the market cosmos

 

 

THE STRENGTH OF PERFORMATIVE TIES: NETWORKS AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER IN A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FIRM

Author(s): Sheen Levine

Although Knowledge has grown to occupy a major role in the discussion on firm performance, we currently know little about the micro-processes involved in intra-organizational search and transfer of knowledge. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in a large, multinational professional service firm, we identify a frequent phenomenon in which employees successfully extend ties to unacquainted others, bypassing direct and indirect network ties altogether. We present the minutiae of such tie extension, and recognize two circumstantial conditions to its success: affiliation and status similarity
Highlighting the difference between the observed phenomenon, indirect ties, and complete unacquaintanceship, we present a definition of performative ties. Locating cases of performative ties in previous research, we conclude by indicating their beneficial role in search process, as well as some of the challenges their existence present to

 

 

TOWARDS A THEORY OF LARGE-SCALE GENERALIZED EXCHANGE

Author(s): Sheen Levine and Sonali Shah

Although historically applied to archaic societies, we show that generalized exchange can be used to explain contemporary economic and social phenomena involving both individuals and firms. Building on existing empirical data from a number of studies, we argue that two conditions explain the maintenance of generalized exchange in some cases: the exchange of non-rival goods and the presence of at least some individuals who benefit from contributing, even without reciprocity. The present form of generalized exchange is shown to differ from historical cases in two ways. First, under the conditions the generally feared effects of free riding seem to be greatly alleviated, allowing enforcement mechanisms to be lenient. Second, contributions directed towards an individual often directly benefit the entire collective

 

 

THE DISEMBEDDEDNESS OF ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRATION POLICY - BIOETHANOL AS A LIQUID FUEL: A CASE STUDY FROM EUROPE'S SEMI-PERIPHERY

Author(s): Sokratis M. Koniordos  

European Union initiatives and funding have been acknowledged as all-important factors in bringing about closer co- operation and indeed integration of Europe's regions. This is true of environmental issues and concerns too. However, the impact they exert on European locales, is far from being uniform in terms of concrete policies and results. Instead, substantial variance is observed that cannot be properly grasped unless we come to a better understanding of its origin in particular constituent societies and in local arrangements. It would also seem relevant to scrutinising the western-centric character of certain key assumptions underlying the premises of EU initiatives (e.g. those attributed to the market)
What interest me is to look beyond the façade of attempted or existing near-uniformity of institutional determinants in EU member countries. Instead, to concentrate on the embeddedness of environment related decision-making processes policy and in specific socio-cultural and political contexts and practices. I will attempt to do so by focusing on a particular EU region that I take as a case study, i.e. Greece. Specifically, I intend to explore how the prospect of introducing bioethanol as an environmentally friendly liquid fuel has been halted. My answer will bring out the importance of socio-political arrangements and processes. These may not be unique from an organisational point of view, but are embedded in a particular and constraining social context that leads official agents entitled and empowered to promote environmental issues abstractly and in general to actively work against them, in the concrete. Lastly, I will touch on the importance of the conjuncture to return to the underlying question about the possibility and the limits of comparative

 

 

IN SEARCH OF THE DYNAMICS OF THE NEW CAPITALIST SPIRIT - WORK ETHICS AS A LINK BETWEEN CULTURAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ELEMENTS IN RECENT CHANGES OF CAPITALISM?

Author(s): Søren Jagd

Boltanski and Chiapello's book on Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme (Boltanski and Chiapello 1999) has reopened a central discussion on the sociology of capitalism (Arnason 2001) that have links back, at least, to Sombart and Weber. An important subtheme of this discussion, since Weber's Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism, has been to understand the relation between cultural and institutional factors of change. In this paper I critically review Boltanski and Chiapello's analysis of the interaction between the three elements distinguished in their analysis: capitalism, the spirit of capitalism, and critique. Boltanski and Chiapello brings important new aspects into the debate concerning the role of critique in the process of change of capitalism, but their analysis of the dynamics of the interaction between capitalism as an institutional core and the cultural elements of capitalism, the capitalist spirit only partly explain the recent process of change in capitalim. I propose to revisit Weber's original analysis of the interaction between worldviews, rationalization and action. This analysis proposes that an important link between cultural and institutional elements is changes in the work ethic. A general overview is given of the changes in work ethic as part of the recent changes of capitalism, involving, among other elements, ideas of personal authonomy, ideas of personal development through work and changes in the role of work in the identity of individuals

 

 

THE THIRD SECTOR: THE LACK OF A EUROPEAN PARADIGM

Author(s): Taco Brandsen  

There is no truly European conceptual framework for denoting the pluriformity of relationships in society. The Anglo-Saxon market-state-third sector distinction is inadequate to describe the arrangements that have historically grown to co-ordinate the activities of various types of organisations; however, it is as yet difficult to get around, since there is as yet no fully-fledged alternative. The position of the so-called "third sector" is particularly unclear
This is no longer just an academic matter. European Union internal market regulation, based on the Anglo-Saxon public/private dichotomy, is increasingly scratching at national arrangements, challenging the special status of private non-profits in providing public goods and services. The latter respond by arguing in favour of "general interest" exemptions. However, they are struggling to come up with a truly competitive paradigm to underpin their claims. The pressure against them is perhaps greater than ever. There is a real danger that they will fall victim to a one-sided view of economic life, because their position and function in relation to market and state provision cannot be well defined
The paper explores potential avenues for developing a more suitable conceptual framework for positioning the third sector. In doing so, it will try to establish linkages with the sociological, economic and political theories that have traditionally been used to explain its emergence

 

 

JAPANESE MIGRANTS IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION

Author(s): Takehito Ohishi

As the international migration from Asia evolves rapidly correspondent to the recent economic development in the APEC region, the important changes in the situation of this migration are appearing in the relevant countries. The most recent and important feature is a policy change toward nationalization of labor. This trend ostensibly seems to prevail all over the world. Nevertheless, it can bestill uncertain about the future prospect of this tendency. Moreover, the effects of aging in the developed societies may be playing an important role on this trend in the long or middle run. Taking an example from Japan, there emerge the aged people who want to spend their lives in developing countries, while a growing number of the domestic aged people require the caregivers for them. Emigration is going to be not only a means for skill upgrading but also the means for getting new jobs or retired places. As to immigration flows, there are a sizable number of legal/illegal immigrants in Japan who are engaged in service sectors. At the moment, Japanese in general do not think much of international migration. While the recent European restrictive trends arise responding to massive increase in immigrants from developing countries, Japanese restrictive policy has been persistent and disciplinary one, with no important migration flows for half a century. Is this Japanese situation a future shape of the European developed countries? Or will Japan face a drastic change in the midst of the global market economy?

 

 

HOW SOCIAL CAPITAL IS ACCUMULATED IN ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIPS WHEN INSTITUTIONS AND BUSINESS ACTORS ARE NOT TRUSTWORTHY (THE CASE OF RUSSIA)

Author(s): Vadim Radaev

Formal rules are contradictory and unstable in the Russian economy. The lack of their formal enforcement produces uncertainty and undermines trust in formal institutions. As a result, one-sided trust in institutions is low. It increases importance of reciprocal trust in kin, friends, and business partners
What makes the situation even more demanding, reciprocal trust in economic relationships is low as well for honesty often does not pay in business to business relationships. Business partners put the highest value to honesty in relations but they do not trust each other entirely due to the frequent infringement of the business contracts. All in all, it puts serious limitations to the accumulation of social capital in business networks and lays out the following issues for investigation: How is social capital accumulated when formal rules are not properly enforced and both institutions and individuals are not trustworthy? How does the trust emerge and develop in these relationships? What is the role of state government in development of trust in institutions and business partners? Empirical evidence comes from two major sources:
Research project "Transaction Costs in Russian Business (1997-1998; funded by the CIPE), including a standardized survey of 227 owners and managers of the non-state firms in 21 regions of Russia and a set of 96 interviews with the owners and managers of non-state firms
Research project "The Costs of Legalization" (2001-2002, funded by Business Association RATEC), including series of 38 in-depth interviews with business owners and top managers in Russia

 

 

THE DOUBLE DIVIDEND OF EXPANDING EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT

Author(s): Volker Bornschier, Hanno Scholtz and Thomas Volken-Reinert    

Since quite a while education has been used in models of both econometricians and sociologists to explain differences in the speed of economic development. This important field of research is, however, theoretically underspecified and the empirical test models have remained incomplete since they model only the direct effects of education as suggested by the human capital school. This paper complements the individualistic view of the human capital school by also considering those functions of education that are stressed in other sociological traditions. I.e., the educational system is seen as a device to integrate society and to legitimize socioeconomic inequality. This translates into specifying also indirect effects since such a perspective allows considering both cohesion (relevant for nation-building in late development) as well as socioeconomic conflict mediating between educational efforts of governments and economic achievement. The resulting proposition of a "double dividend" of educational efforts in development suggests that in the short and medium term educational effort of government may contribute to legitimizing society, which is reflected in tempering socioeconomic conflict in society. This is fostering economic growth via greater motivation of citizens and higher propensity to invest. In the longer run such a policy necessarily contributes to augment the stock of human capital available in society which enhances both productivity at the workplace as well as the capacity to absorbe new knowledge relevant for innovation. This again results in higher economic growth which again will bolster legitimacy
In this paper we present the arguments and put the proposition of a double dividend to an empirical test by using a world sample of 90 societies as well as subsamples. Furthermore, we specify conditions under which educational expansion may not result in less but - quite the contrary - in more conflict. The cross-national tests employing path analysis technique are complemented by short discussions of some single cases

 

 

THE SUBJECTIVE SIDE OF INCOME INEQUALITY: PERCEPTIONS, NORMATIVE EVALUATIONS AND THEIR SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES

Author(s): Volker Bornschier, Hanno Scholtz and Thomas Volken-Reinert

Inequality is "back on the agenda" even of international economic institutions, not at least since it was found in studies of the early 1990s to adversely affect economic growth. More equal societies tend to have higher economic growth, yet consensus is lacking in how they do: access to credits, voter-oriented politicians, or the quality of the social fabric are on the list of potential mediators of effects on growth. A closer look reveals: most of these arguments actually do not rely on the real distribution of resources but on how this distribution is perceived and evaluated. But unfortunately, up to now all major studies on the social consequences of inequality rely on objective data. In order to overcome these shortcomings, our study focuses on the subjective side of inequality. The data come from the three inequality modules of the International Social Survey Program (ISSP 1987, 1992 and 1999), covering 54 observations for 27 countries. They allow us to study how income distributions are perceived, what income distributions would be considered justified, and how these perceptions and norms vary (i) between individuals, reflecting their social situations and preferences as well as (ii) between societies. In contrasting perceptions and norms, we develop new measures for legitimacy at the macro-level for cross-sections and time-comparisons. In order to study effects on economic development in a path model design, our novel legitimacy measures are combined with newly gathered conflict data from our computerized content-analysis of news agency reports and with other variables as proxies for social capital and cohesion of societies

 

 

THE CROSS-CULTURAL MANAGEMENT OF DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS: CULTURE WITH OR AGAINST ECONOMY?

Author(s): Xavier Lemaire

Based on a review of the theoretical literature and field surveys on "less-developed" countries, this paper deals with the cultural representations of economic development through a typology of main discourses about this central imaginary signification
Development is usually understood as a process relying on weberian Zweckrationalität, leading to the economic specialization of social actors. But "development" is not universally accepted as a guideline: in "traditional" societies, economy remains under the control of a social logic. Due to the failure of development projects supported by the international aid, culture has been taken into consideration through what has been called the "cultural dimension of development". But it appears that culture is not just a "dimension" to be added to the usual way of managing economic projects
Culture has also been considered through the capacity of "resistance" of local communities to foreign injunctions. But in fact, otherness means that actors are just moving in another world of significations, without necessarily an explicit intention of resisting. Local representations of development emerge then to protect ethnic group from the pressure of modernization. The cross-cultural management of aid projects has therefore to rely on the construction of a specific sub-culture that enables local and international actors to communicate. But in so doing, these actors create their own "novlang" and social artifacts apart from the most dynamic networks, building eventually another imaginary frontier.