Google full text of our books:


Economic Sociology:
A Systematic Inquiry
Alejandro Portes

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2010

Paperback | 2010 | $37.50 | £31.95 | ISBN: 9780691142234
320 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 17 line illus. 23 tables.
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400835171 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1[PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:

The sociological study of economic activity has witnessed a significant resurgence. Recent texts have chronicled economic sociology's nineteenth-century origins while pointing to the importance of context and power in economic life, yet the field lacks a clear understanding of the role that concepts at different levels of abstraction play in its organization. Economic Sociology fills this critical gap by surveying the current state of the field while advancing a framework for further theoretical development.

Alejandro Portes examines economic sociology's principal assumptions, key explanatory concepts, and selected research sites. He argues that economic activity is embedded in social and cultural relations, but also that power and the unintended consequences of rational purposive action must be factored in when seeking to explain or predict economic behavior. Drawing upon a wealth of examples, Portes identifies three strategic sites of research--the informal economy, ethnic enclaves, and transnational communities--and he eschews grand narratives in favor of mid-range theories that help us understand specific kinds of social action.

The book shows how the meta-assumptions of economic sociology can be transformed, under certain conditions, into testable propositions, and puts forward a theoretical agenda aimed at moving the field out of its present impasse.


"A pioneer in economic sociology, Portes presents one of the best systematic efforts in the burgeoning attempt to bring sociological inquiry to economic studies. Though economic sociologists are more than likely to be already familiar with Portes's work, the author's emphasis on theory accumulation, or 'usable theory,' as proposed by Dietrich Rueschemeyer, makes this book exceptional. . . . An exemplary combination of theoretical sophistication and methodological rigor, Portes's book is a must read for all economic sociologists."--Choice

"Portes has written a fine book that presents a good case for the sociological perspective of economic processes and outcomes."--Eric Cheney, Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare

"[T]he book can be fruitfully used as student's handbook to teach economic sociology, comparative political economy and sociology of development."--Filippo Barbera, Sociologica

"I would . . . recommend Portesian sociology to anyone needing an intelligent, lucid and thought-provoking vision of what 'middle range' theory might offer economic sociology beyond the preoccupation with 'embeddedness.'"--Patrick McGovern, British Journal of Sociology

"Economic Sociology represents a positive step away from the assumptions about formal rationality and maximizing of subjective utility dominant in certain social science areas influenced by mainstream economics, and widens the scope for future research on the interaction between social forces and economic processes."--Rafael Khachaturian, Science and Society


More Endorsements

Table of Contents:

List of Figures and Tables ix
Preface xi
Chapter One: Economic Sociology: Past Achievements and Present Challenges 1
Chapter Two: The Assumptions That Ground the Field 10
Chapter Three: Social Capital 27
Chapter Four: The Concept of Institutions 48
Chapter Five: The Concept of Social Class 71
Chapter Six: Social Class (Continued) 101
Chapter Seven: The Informal Economy 130
Chapter Eight: Ethnic Enclaves and Middleman Minorities 162
Chapter Nine: Transnational Communities 195
Chapter Ten: Markets, Models, and Regulation 220
Notes 237
Bibliography 261
Index 291

Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart options:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback : $37.50 ISBN: 9780691142234

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Paperback  £31.95 ISBN: 9780691142234

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 7/11/2017

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share 
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    More Choices