AØKB08030U  Economic Sociology

Volume 2013/2014
BSc in Economics
MSc in Economics
The Course gives the student thorough knowledge of the classical economic sociological analysis on the development of the modern society.

Classical economic sociology emerged out of a concern about the cohesion of and individuals’ life in modern society i.e. the society that emerged during the industrial revolution. A critical approach to societal development was developed and is also today a core ingredient in economic sociological theories and analysis.

The course gives an introduction to classical economic sociology with an emphasis on Weber, Marx, Durkheim and Simmel. The main part of the course is on contemporary economic sociology. The student gets knowledge of the contents and developments of economic sociology since Granovetters reintroduction of the concept of embeddedness in the mid 1980s and the development of economic sociology with contributions from among others Gary Becker, Bourdieu as well as Giddens and Habermas.

The course contains texts debating the understanding of markets, the role of the state and the impact of social structures on the understanding of how modern society works and how it should be studied. Knowledge on economic sociology, sociological theory and economic sociology analysis on societal developments gives the student a comprehensive knowledge of the manifold and creative economic sociological analysis of modern society and the societal frames and background for individual action.

This gives the student knowledge in ways of analysing modern society and individual actions that in many ways challenges economic theory.
Learning Outcome
The student will get knowledge on the contribution to economic sociology from sociological classics, the development of contemporary economic sociology since the mid 1980s and how this challenges the view on society and its development put forward by economic theory.

The outstanding performance in the course contains:
  • A precise explanation of one or more economic sociological approaches on a given subject or societal problem
  • A critical discussion of the economic sociological theories relevance in relation to this
  • In cases where more theories are included a statement on whether and how these are complementary or in competition
  • In the explanations it is important to use the concepts that are developed in and used in economic sociological analysis.

Georg Ritzer (2011) : Sociological Theory, eighth edition
part I pp 1-188, part III pp 499-546 and part IV (chapters 15 and 16) pp 547-604.

Gary S. Becker and Kevin Murphy (2000): Social Economics; Market Behaviour in a Social Environment, Harvard University press
Part I pp 3-28.

Neil J. Smelser & Richard Swedberg (2001): The Handbook of Economic Sociology, second edition, Princeton.
Part I (chapters 1, 2 and 3) pp 3-74, Part II (chapters 11, 12, 13, 14 and 19) pp 233-330 and pp 429-450, Part III (chapters 22 and 24) pp 505-526 and pp 552-574

Mauro F Guillén et. Al (ed.) (2002): The New Economic Sociology – developments in an emergint field, Russel Sage,
Chapters 1, 2 and 3 pp 1-80.

Nicole Woolsey Biggart (ed.) (2002): Readings in economic sociology, Blackwell.
Chapter 15, pp 280-291.

3 hours of lectures per week for 14 weeks
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 24 hours
The exam is a 24-hours take-home assignment.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
20 % censurship
Exam period
Will be updated before the start of the semester
Same as ordinary. But if only a few students have registered for the re-exam, the exam might change to an oral exams with a synopsis to be handed in. This means that the examination date also will change.
Criteria for exam assesment
The Student must in a satisfactory way demonstrate that he/she has mastered the learning outcome of the course.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 140
  • Exam
  • 24
  • Total
  • 206