Top Menu

Reading List

Here is an initial reading list on economic sociology.

We’ve listed books and articles under the following categories: economics, economic sociology and economic anthropology; entrepreneurship; families; gender; markets; money; policy; poverty and inequality; science and technology; wealth.

This is not a comprehensive reading list. We welcome your contributions and comments.

Economics and economic sociology

Bourdieu, P. (2005) The Social Structures of the Economy. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Dobbin, F. (2004) The New Economic Sociology. A Reader. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Ferber, M.A. and J. A. Nelson (2003) Feminist EconomicsToday: Beyond Economic Man. Chicago:University of Chicago Press.

Gilding, M. 2005, ‘The new economic sociology and its relevance to Australia‘, Journal of Sociology 41 (3): 309-325.

Gilding, M. & Marjoribanks, T. (2007) ‘Economy and Society: The enduring residualism of Australian sociologyJournal of Sociology 43 (4): 331-48.

Granovetter, M. (1973) ‘The Strength of Weak Ties’, American Journal of Sociology 78 (May): 1360-1380

Granovetter, M. (1985) ‘Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness American Journal of Sociology91: 481-510.

Hass, J. (2007) Economic Sociology:An Introduction New York: Routledge.

Keen, S. (2001) Debunking economics: The naked emperorof the social sciences. Melbourne: Pluto Press.

Nelson, J.A. (2006) Economics for Humans Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Pusey, M. (1991) Economic rationalism in Canberra: a nation-building state changes its mind Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Ruccio, D. (ed) (2008) Economic Representations: academic and everyday, London:Routledge.

Schumpeter J. (1934) The Theory of Economic Development Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Schumpeter, J. (1996)History of Economic Analysis Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Schumpeter, J. (1947) ‘The Creative Responses in Economic History’ The Journal of Economic History 7 (2) (Nov.1947) 149-159. Reprinted in R. Swedberg (ed) Joseph Schumpeter New Jersey: Princeton UniversityPress.

Smelser, N. and R. Swedberg (2005) The Handbook of Economic Sociology Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Smith, A. (1776) An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations. Available online.

Swedberg R.& Granovetter, M. (2001) The Sociology of Economic Life Boulder: Westview Press.

Swedberg, R. (2003) Principles of Economic Sociology Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press.


Ahl, H. (2006) ‘Why Research on Women Entrepreneurs Needs New DirectionsEntrepreneurship, Theory and Practice30(5):595-621.

Bowman. D (2007) ‘Men’s business: Negotiating entrepreneurial business and family life’, Journal of Sociology, 43 (4): 385-400.

Gilding, M. (2004), ‘Entrepreneurs,elites and the ruling class: the changing structure of power and wealth in Australian society‘,Australian Journal of Political Science 39 (1): 127-143.

Light, I. and S. Gold (2000) Ethnic Economies San Diego: Academic.

Mulholland, K. (2003) Class, gender and the family business Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Swedberg. R. (2000) Entrepreneurship. The Social Science View. Oxford: Oxford University


England, P. and B.S. Kilbourne (1990) ‘Markets, Marriages, and Other Mates: the problem of power’ pp.163 – 188 in R. Friedland and A.F. Robertson (eds) Beyond the Marketplace: Rethinking Economy and Society . New York: de Guyter.

Folbre, N. (2004) ‘A Theory of the Misallocation of Time’ pp.7-25 in Folbre, N. and M. Bittman (eds) Family Time:The Social Organisation of Care Abingdon: Routledge.

Folbre, N. (2001) The Invisible Heart: Economics and Family Values New York: New Press.

Hochschild, A.R. (2003) The Commercialization of Intimate Life: notes from home and work Berkeley: University of California Press.

Pocock, B. (2003) The work/life collision Annandale: The Federation Press.

Squire, S and J. Tilly (2007) It’s About Time: Women, Men, Work and Family. Sydney: Sex and Age Discrimination Unit, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

Williams, J. (2001) Unbending Gender: Why family and work conflict and what to do about it. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zajdow, G. (2005) ‘Families and economies: what counts and what doesn’t’ pp.88-112 in M. Poole (ed) Family: Changing Families, Changing Times. Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Zelizer, V (1994) Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Zelizer, V. (2005) The Purchase of Intimacy Princeton,New Jersey: Princeton University Press.


Zelizer, V. (2007) ‘Reflections on Intimacy’ Accounts 6(2) 10-12.

England, P. (2003) ‘Separative and Soluble Selves: Dichotomous Thinking in Economics’ pp. 33-59 in J. Nelson and M. Ferber (eds) Feminist Economics Today Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

England, P. and N. Folbre (2005) ‘Gender and Economic Sociology’, pp.627-649 in N. Smelser and R. Swedberg (eds)Handbook of Economic Sociology New York: Russell Sage

Milkman, R. and Eleanor Townsley (1994) ‘Gender and the Economy’.pp. 600-619 in N. Smelser and R. Swedberg (eds) The Handbook of Economic Sociology New York: Russell Sage Foundation.


Bourdieu, P. (1985) ‘The forms of capital’, pp. 241-258 in J. G. Richardson, (ed.) Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education New York: Greenwood

Callon, Michel (1998) The Laws of the Market Oxford: Blackwell Publishers

Dobbin. F (1994) Forging Industrial Policy: The United States, Britain and France in the Railway Age New York:Cambridge University Press.

Fligstein, N (1996) ‘Markets as Politics: A Political-Cultural Approach to Market Institutions‘. American Sociological Review 61, 656-673.

Friedland, R. and A.F. Robertson (1990) Beyond the marketplace New York: George de Gruyter Inc.

MacKenzie, D., and Millo, Y. (2003) ‘Constructing a Market, Performing Theory: The Historical Sociology of a Financial Derivatives Exchange.’ American Journal of Sociology, 109(1): 107-145.

White, H (1981) Where do Markets Come From?’ American Journal of Sociology 87, 517-547.

Sandel, M (1998) ‘What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets’. Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Oxford University

Zelizer, V. (1988) ‘Beyond the Polemics on the Market: Establishing a Theoretical and Empirical Agenda‘, Sociological Forum 3: 614-634


Simmel, G. (1978) The philosophy of money. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Singh, S. (1997) Marriage Money: The Social Shaping of Money in Marriage and Banking. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

Wilson, V. (1999) The Secret Life of Money: Exposing the Private Parts of Personal Money. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

Zelizer, V. (1994) The Social Meaning of Money. New York: Basic Books.


Quiggan, J (2009) ‘An agenda for social democracy’ Perspectives, 1. Whitlam Institute , The University of Western Sydney. This is the first essay in a series called ‘Perspectives’ which have been commissioned by the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney. This essay argues that the global financial crisis provides an opportunity to rethink economic and political structures.

Poverty and inequality

‘The crisis is not a temporary aberration, to be followed by a return to the ‘normality’ of the late 20th century, dominated by the ideology of economic liberalism. Rather the economic and social system that emerges from the global financial crisis will be radically transformed’.

Basu, K. (1987) “Achievements, Capabilities and the Concept of Well-Being: A Review of Commodities and Capabilities by Amartya Sen”. Social Choice & Welfare. 4. p. 69-76.

Kaufman, A. (2006) “Capabilities and Freedom”. Journal of Political Philosophy. 14(3). p. 289-300.

Nussbaum, M. (2003) “Capabilities as Fundamental Entitlements: Sen and Social Justice”. Feminist Economics. 9. p. 33-59.

Nussbaum, M.( 2003) “Capabilities as Fundamental Entitlements: Sen and Social Justice”. Feminist Economics.9. p. 33-59.

Sen, A. (1993). “Capability and Well-being”. in Martha Nussbaum, and Amartya Sen. Eds. The Quality of Life. (Oxford: Clarendon Press) p. 30-53.

Sen, A. K. (1997). “Human capital and human capability.” World Development v25(n12): p1959 (3).

Sen, A.K. (1999) Development as Freedom,New York: Knopf

Sen, A. K. (2003). ‘Development as Capability Expansion’ Readings in Human Development. Fukuda-Parr, S. et al (eds) New Delhi and New York: Oxford University Press.

Sen, Amartya. 2004. “Capabilities lists and public reason: Continuing the conversation’”. Feminist Economics. 103. p. 77-80.

Science and technology

Powell .W. and P. Brantley (1996) ‘Magic Bullets and Patent Wars: New Product Development and the Evolution of the Biotechnology Industry’, in T. Nishiguchi (ed)Managing Product Development, Oxford University Press.

Owen-Smith, J.and W. Powell (2006) ‘Accounting for Emergence and Novelty in Boston and Bay Area Biotechnolog’ iin Cluster Genesis: Technology-Based Industrial Development, Oxford University Press.

Powell W. and K.Snellman (2004) ‘ The Knowledge Economy‘. Annual Review of Sociology 30:199-220

Powell, W., K. Whittington and J. Owen-Smith (forthcoming) ‘Networks, Propinquity and Innovation in Knowledge-Intensive Industries’ Administrative Science Quarterly


Connell, R.W. (1977) Ruling Class Ruling Culture: Studies of Conflict, Power and Hegemony in Australian Life, Cambridge:Cambridge University Press

Donaldson, M. and Scott Poynting (2004) ‘The time of their lives: time, work and leisure in the daily lives of ruling class men’. pp. 127-149 in N. Hollier (ed) Ruling Australia:The power, privilege, and politics of the ruling class Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Gilding, M. (2002) Secrets of the Super Rich Sydney:HarperCollins.

Gilding, M. (1999) ‘Superwealth in Australia: entrepreneurs, accumulation and the capitalist class‘, Journal of Sociology 35:22, 169-182.

Gilding, M. 2005, ‘Families and fortunes: accumulation, management succession and inheritance in wealthy families‘, Journal of Sociology 41 (1): 29-45.