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Neo-structural economic sociology beyond embeddedness: relational infrastructures and social processes in markets and market institutions

Abstract : In the context of the sophisticated division of labor in contemporary economies, a majority of individuals, organizations, and institutions participating in economic production, exchange, and consumption are thrust into open forms of competition imposed by contemporary capitalisms; in other words, neoliberal public authorities and global companies shaping the contexts and lives of smaller, less powerful actors. To dominate and/or survive, all have strong incentives to play complex games of cooperation among competitors. Along with capital, labor, and natural resources, cooperation among competitors is seen here as a “fourth factor of production.” The research program focusing on this phenomenon combines White’s perspective on production markets extended to the “Economie des Conventions” with a theory of collegiality as collective action among rival peers thus bringing together structure, culture, and agency (individual and collective) in a new way. In order to accomplish this, we define markets as both bureaucratic and collegial, and socio-economic relationships both as channels for heterogeneous resources and as symbolic commitments that have to build their credibility. These commitments are equivalent to a promise, an obligation, or a convention introducing time into the exchange of resources. They rely on social control and conflict resolution to make such commitments credible.
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  • HAL Id : hal-02943019, version 1
  • OATAO : 26003
  • PRODINRA : 464903

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Julien Brailly, Catherine Comet, Sébastien Delarre, Fabien Eloire, Guillaume Favre, et al.. Neo-structural economic sociology beyond embeddedness: relational infrastructures and social processes in markets and market institutions. Economic Sociology (European Electronic Newsletter), Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, 2018, 19 (3), pp.36-49. ⟨hal-02943019⟩

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