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Social-scienciation of Economics and its Consequences: On a Relative Convergence between Economics and Sociology

Dieter Bögenhold

No 3_2017, STOREPapers from Associazione Italiana per la Storia dell'Economia Politica - StorEP

Abstract: We are currently in times in which an increased discussion on interdisciplinarity is on the agenda. Economics tends to go into directions of sociology, history, and psychology, taking on topics of their domains. Questions of convergencies and divergencies between the academic subjects are a result. This observation goes parallel with sociological debate on the status of sociology. Major questions remaining are: (1.) Has the field of sociology changed since Emilé Durkheim or Max Weber? (2.) Which domain can sociology claim as being its exclusive ground? Answers to these questions have to identify a broader landscape of academic division: Economics is moving increasingly in the direction of social topics and sociological ground. The “imperialism of economics” (Granovetter) is increasingly approaching traditional academic fields of history, psychology, and sociology. However, at least two psychologists (H. Simon, D. Kahneman) and an economic historian (R. Fogel) have received Nobel prizes in economics. How can sociology map with this trend, how can this challenge be converted into an academic opportunity? The paper will explore observed trends in detail in order to conclude that the public image of sociology may have declined during recent decades, but the strategic use and importance of (economic) sociology has never been greater. Economic sociology seems to have become an upgraded discipline since social networks, communication processes, institutions and culture are increasingly considered as core dimensions. Of course, the conclusion follows exactly the script of earlier instructions provided by Max Weber or Joseph Schumpeter.

Keywords: Pluralism in economics; Imperialism of economics; institutional economics; old institutional economics; interdisciplinarity; sociology of economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A11 A14 B00 B41 B52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2017-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme, nep-hpe, nep-pke and nep-sog
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