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Webs of Significance: Understanding Economic Activity in its Cultural Context

Kenneth Mischel

Review of Social Economy, 1997, vol. 55, issue 1, 67-84

Abstract: This paper makes the case for developing accounts of economic activity by placing such activity in its ambient cultural contexts. It is shown that doing so provides the basis for credibly attributing significance to economic acts and coming to terms with the belief structures economic agents employ, e.g., what they expect of each other, expect others expect of them, and so on. The role of culture systems as social orchestrators is discussed. The implications of a context-sensitive explanatory approach for the commitment to view economic behavior as rational are considered. A wider conception of economic rationality is proposed.

Keywords: cultural contexts; cooperation; rationality; symbolic reasoning (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1997
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DOI: 10.1080/00346769700000024

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