Advertisement

The American Sociologist

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 488–508 | Cite as

Academic Familism, Spillover Prestige and Gender Segregation in Sociology Subfields: The Trajectory of Economic Sociology

  • Nina BandeljEmail author
Article

Abstract

Sociology is a multiparadigmatic discipline, increasingly feminized, but in some of the discipline’s subfields certain theoretical tools and methods dominate over others, and gender integration is stalled. Why so? I examine the intellectual trajectory of the new economic sociology to highlight the role of academic familism, disciplinary spillover prestige, and gender for privileging the networks perspective, over other intellectual currents, in the early developments of the subfield. First, academic familism in a form of cross generational mentor-mentee relationships reinforced networks-based research among early champions of the new economic sociology, such as Harrison White and Mark Granovetter and their students. Second, the network perspective thrived on spillover prestige from natural sciences, which also embraced the study of networks, as well as from economics. Third, alignment with methodological and gender hierarchies in the discipline of sociology privileged the quantitative male-led network analyses over other approaches, such as cultural or inequality analysis. Providing an interpretation of the history of economic sociology, this article also reveals the mechanisms that stall gender integration within sociological subfields despite broader trends in feminization of our discipline.

Keywords

Economic sociology Intellectual history Networks Gender Prestige Cultural analysis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank organizers and participants at the session on Feminist Perspectives in Sociological Subfields at the 2016 American Sociological Association (ASA) meetings, and at the History of Sociology session at the 2017 ASA Meetings, especially Orit Avishai, Christine Williams, Erin Leahy, Sharon Koppman, as well as Viviana Zelizer for extensive discussions. Elizabeth Sowers and Celeste Villarreal provided excellent research assistance. I am grateful to Editor Lawrence Nichols for energetic engagement with the ideas and valuable suggestions.

References

  1. Abbott, A. (2001). Chaos of disciplines. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Abend, G. (2016). The moral background: An inquiry into the history of business ethics (Vol. 60). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ahuja R. K., Magnanti T. L., & Orlin J. B. (1993). Network Flows: Theory, algorithms, and applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Alexander, J. (1998). Neofunctionalism and after. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (2019). Bachleors degrees in the humanities. Accessed on July 1, 2019, at: https://humanitiesindicators.org/content/indicatordoc.aspx?i=34.
  6. Anteby, M. (2010). Markets, morals, and practices of trade: Jurisdictional disputes in the U.S. commerce in cadavers. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55(4), 606–638.Google Scholar
  7. ASA. 2019. ASA Membership Characteristics. Accessed on June 14, 2019, at: https://www.asanet.org/research-and-publications/research-sociology/trends-sociology/asa-membership.
  8. Aspers, P., Dodd, N., & Anderberg, E. (2015). Introduction. In Re-imaging Economic Sociology (pp. 1–33). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Azarian, R. (2006). The general sociology of Harrison C. White: Chaos and order in networks. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Baker, W. E. (1994). Networking smart: How to build relationships for personal and organizational success. Whitby, Canada: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.Google Scholar
  11. Baker, W. E. (1984). The social structure of a National Securities Market. American Journal of Sociology, 89, 775–811.Google Scholar
  12. Bandelj, N. (2015). Thinking About Social Relations in Economy as Relational Work. In P. Aspers & N. Dodd (Eds.), Re-imagining Economic Sociology (pp. 227–251). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Barabasi, A-L. (2002). Linked: The new science of networks. Cambridge, MA: Perseus.Google Scholar
  14. Berezin, M. (2005). Emotions and the economy. In N. J. Smelser & R. Swedberg (Eds.), In The Handbook of Economic Sociology (pp. 109–127). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Biggart, N. W. (1989). Charismatic capitalism: Direct selling organizations in America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  16. Bollobas, B. (1998). Modern Graph Theory. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. Boorman, S. A., & White, H. C. (1976). Social structure from multiple networks. II. Role structures. American Journal of Sociology, 81, 1384–1446.Google Scholar
  18. Bourdieu, P. (1988). Homo Academicus. English translation. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Brinton, M. C. (2005). Education and the economy. In N. J. Smelser & R. Swedberg (Eds.), In The Handbook of Economic Sociology (pp. 575–602). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Buchanan, M. (2002). Nexus: Small worlds and the groundbreaking science of networks. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  21. Bucior, C., & Sica, A. (2019). Sociology as a female preserve: Feminization and redirection in sociological education and research. The American Sociologist, 50(1), 3–37.Google Scholar
  22. Burris, V. (2004). The academic caste system: Prestige hierarchies in PhD exchange networks. American Sociological Review, 69, 239–264.Google Scholar
  23. Burris, V. (2005). Interlocking directorates and political cohesion among corporate elites. American Journal of Sociology, 111, 249–283.Google Scholar
  24. Burt, R. S. (1979a). Disaggregating the effect on profits in manufacturing industries of having imperfectly competitive consumers and suppliers. Social Science Research, 8(2), 120–143.Google Scholar
  25. Burt, R. S. (1979b). A structural theory of interlocking corporate directorates. Social Networks, 1, 415–435.Google Scholar
  26. Burt, R. S. (1980). Cooptive corporate actor networks: A reconsideration of interlocking directorates involving American manufacturing. Administrative Science Quarterly, 25, 557–582.Google Scholar
  27. Burt, R. (1992). Structural holes: The social structure of competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Burt, R. (2004). Structural holes and good ideas. American Journal of Sociology, 110, 349–399.Google Scholar
  29. Burt, R. S., Christman, K. P., & Jr, H. C. K. (1980). Testing a structural theory of corporate cooptation: Interorganizational directorate ties as a strategy for avoiding market constraints on profits. American Sociological Review, 45, 821–841.Google Scholar
  30. Camic, C., & Gross, N. (2008). The new sociology of ideas. In J. R. Blau (Ed.), The Blackwell companion of sociology (pp. 236–249). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. Castilla, E. J. (2005). Social networks and employee performance in a call center. American Journal of Sociology, 110, 1243–1283.Google Scholar
  32. Colander, D. (2005). The making of an economist redux. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(1), 175–198.Google Scholar
  33. Collins, R. (1998). The sociology of philosophies: A global theory of intellectual change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Collins, R., & Guillen, M. (2012). Mutual halo effects in cultural production: The case of modernist architecture. Theory and Society, 41, 527–556.Google Scholar
  35. Convert, B., & Heilbron, J. (2007). Where did the new economic sociology come from? Theory and Society, 36, 31–54.Google Scholar
  36. Crane, D. (1994). Sociology of culture. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  37. Davis, G. F., & Stout, S. K. (1992). Organization theory and the market for corporate control: A dynamic analysis of the characteristics of large takeover targets, 1980-1990. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37, 605–633.Google Scholar
  38. Davis, G. F., & Kim, S. (2015). Financialization of the economy. Annual Review of Sociology, 41(1), 203–221.Google Scholar
  39. Dobbin, F. (1994). Forging industrial policy: The United States, Britain, and France in the railway age. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  40. DiFuccica, M., Pelton, J., & Sica, A. (2007). If and when sociology becomes a female preserve. American Sociologist, 38(1), 3–22.Google Scholar
  41. DiMaggio, P. (1993). Nadel's paradox revisited: Relational and cultural aspects of organizational structures. In N. Nohria & R. Eccles (Eds.), Networks and organization. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  42. DiMaggio, P., & Louch, H. (1998). Socially embedded consumer transactions: For what kinds of purchases do people Most often use networks? American Sociological Review, 63, 619–637.Google Scholar
  43. Degenne A., & Michele F. (1994). Introducing Social Networks. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. DeNora, T. (1995). Beethoven and the construction of genius. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  45. Edelman, L. B., & Stryker, R. (2005). A sociological approach to law and the economy. In N. J. Smelser & R. Swedberg (Eds.), In The Handbook of Economic Sociology (pp. 527–551). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  46. England, P., & Folbre, N. (2005). Gender and economic sociology. In N. J. Smelser & R. Swedberg (Eds.), In The Handbook of Economic Sociology (pp. 627–649). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Epstein, G. A. (Ed.). (2005). Financialization and the world economy. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, Inc..Google Scholar
  48. Fernandez, R. M., Castilla, E., & Moore, P. (2000). Social capital at work: Networks and employment at a phone center. American Journal of Sociology, 105, 1288–1356.Google Scholar
  49. Fligstein, N. (1990). The transformation of corporate control. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Fourcade, M. (2011). Cents and sensibility: Economic valuation and the nature of “nature”. American Journal of Sociology, 116(6), 1721–1777.Google Scholar
  51. Fourcade, M., & Healy, K. (2007). Moral views of market society. Annual Review of Sociology, 33, 285–311.Google Scholar
  52. Fourcade, M., Ollin, E., & Algan, Y. (2015). The superiority of economists. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(1), 89–114.Google Scholar
  53. Friedland, R. O., & Robertson, A. F. (Eds.). (1990). Beyond the marketplace: Rethinking economy and society. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  54. Galaskiewicz, J., Wasserman, S., Rauschenbach, B., Bielefeld, W., & Mullaney, P. (1985). The influence of corporate power, social status, and market position on corporate interlocks in a regional market. Social Forces, 64, 403–431.Google Scholar
  55. Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91, 481–510.Google Scholar
  56. Granovetter, Mark and Richard Swedberg. 2001. “Introduction to the second edition”. The Sociology of Economic Life, edited by Mark Granovetter and Richard Swedberg. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  57. Granovetter, M. (2017). Society and economy: Frameworks and principles. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Grant, L., Ward, K. B., & Rong, X. L. (1987). Is there an association between gender and methods in sociological research? American Sociological Review, 52(6), 856–862.Google Scholar
  59. Gross, N. (2003). Richard Rorty’s pragmatism: The case study in the sociology of ideas. Theory and Society, 32, 93–148.Google Scholar
  60. Guillen, M. (2006). The Taylorized beauty of the mechanical: Scientific management and the rise of modernist architecture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Healy, K. (2010). Last best gifts: Altruism and the market for human blood and organs. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  62. Hoang, K. K. (2018). Risky investments: How local and foreign investors finesse corruption-rife emerging markets. American Sociological Review, 83(4), 657–685.Google Scholar
  63. Jacobs, M., & Hanrahan, N. (2005). The Blackwell companion to the sociology of culture. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
  64. Krippner, G. R. (2001). The elusive market: Embeddedness and the paradigm of economic sociology. Theory and Society, 30(6), 775–810.Google Scholar
  65. Krippner, G. R. (2005). The Financialization of the American economy. Socio-Economic Review, 3(2), 173–208.Google Scholar
  66. Krippner, G. R. (2011). Capitalizing on crisis: The political origins of the rise of finance. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Krippner, G., Granovetter, M., Block, F., Biggart, N., Beamish, T., Hsing, Y., Hart, G., Arrighi, G., Mendell, M., Hall, J., Burawoy, M., Vogel, S., & O'Riain, S. (2004). Polanyi symposium: A conversation on embeddedness. Socio-Economic Review, 2, 109–135.Google Scholar
  68. Lamont, M. (2001). Three questions for a big book: Collins’s the sociology of philosophies. Sociological Theory, 19, 85–91.Google Scholar
  69. Lang, J., & Lockhart, D. (1990). Increased environmental uncertainty and changes in board linkage patterns. Academy of Management Journal, 33, 106–128.Google Scholar
  70. Larson, M. S. (1993). Behind the postmodern Façade: Architectural change in late twentieth century America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  71. Leahey, E. (2006). Transmitting tricks of the trade: Mentors and the development of research knowledge. Teaching Sociology, 34(2), 93–110.Google Scholar
  72. Lin, K.-H., & Tomaskovic-Devey, D. (2013). Financialization and U.S. income inequality, 1970–2008. American Journal of Sociology, 118(5), 1284–1329.Google Scholar
  73. Lin, N., & Burt, R. S. (1973). Roles of differential information channels in the process of information diffusion. In Monograph 001. New York: International Center for Social Research, Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Albany.Google Scholar
  74. Livne, R. (2014). Economies of dying: The moralization of economic scarcity in US hospice care. American Sociological Review, 79(5), 888–911.Google Scholar
  75. Mariolis, P., & Jones, M. (1982). Centrality in corporate interlock networks: Reliability and stability. Administrative Science Quarterly, 27, 571–585.Google Scholar
  76. Martin, R. (2002). Financialization of daily life. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  77. McCabe, J., & Lombardi, J. V. (2005). “The Faculty Salary Game.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. Available at: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/08/05/faculty-salary-game Accessed on July 1, 2019
  78. Mears, A. (2015). “Working for free in the VIP: Relational work and the production of consent.” American Sociological Review 80(6): 1099 –1122.Google Scholar
  79. Mizruchi, M., & Brewster-Stearns, L. (1988). A longitudinal study of the formation of interlocking directorates. Administrative Science Quarterly, 33, 194–210.Google Scholar
  80. Mizruchi, M., Brewster-Stearns, L., & Marquis, C. (2006). The conditional nature of embeddedness: A study of borrowing by large U.S. firms, 1973-1994. American Sociological Review, 71, 310–333.Google Scholar
  81. Mizruchi, M. S., & Bunting, D. (1981). Influence in corporate networks: An examination of four measures. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26, 475–489.Google Scholar
  82. NORC Survey of Earned Doctorates (2019). https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsf19301/data. Accessed on July 1, 2019.
  83. Palmer, D. (1983). Broken ties: Interlocking directorates and intercorporate coordination. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28, 40–55.Google Scholar
  84. Palmer, D., & Barber, B. M. (2001). Challengers, elites and owning families: A social class theory of corporate acquisitions in the 1960s. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46, 87–120.Google Scholar
  85. Palmer, D., Zhou, X., Barber, B., & Soysal, Y. (1995). The friendly and predatory Acquisition of Large U.S. corporations in the 1960s: The other contested terrain. American sociological review, 60, 469–499.Google Scholar
  86. Polanyi, K. (1944). The great transformation: Economic and political origins of our time. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart.Google Scholar
  87. Polanyi, K. (1957). The Economy as Instituted Process. In K. Polanyi, C. Arensberg, & H. Pearson (Eds.), Trade and market in the early empires (pp. 243–270). Glencoe, Ill. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  88. Powell, W. W., Koput, K. W., & Smith-Doerr, L. (1996). Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: Networks of learning in biotechnology. Administrative Science Quarterly, 41, 116–145.Google Scholar
  89. Powell, W., White, D. R., Koput, K. W., & Owen-Smith, J. (2005). Network dynamics and field evolution: The growth of inter-organizational collaboration in the life sciences. American Journal of Sociology, 110(4), 1132–1205.Google Scholar
  90. Prasad, M. (2006). The politics of free markets: The rise of neoliberal economic policies in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  91. Quinn, S. (2008). The transformation of morals in markets: Death, benefits, and the exchange of life insurance policies. American Journal of Sociology, 114(3), 738–780.Google Scholar
  92. Reich, A. D. (2014). Contradictions in the commodification of hospital care. American Journal of Sociology, 119(6), 1576–1628.Google Scholar
  93. Rossman, Gabriel. 2014. “Obfuscatory Relational Work and Disreputable Exchange.” Sociological Theory 32(1): 43 –63.Google Scholar
  94. Scott, John. 2000. Social Network Analysis: A Handbook. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  95. Smelser, N.J.; & Swedberg, R. (1994). The sociological perspective on the economy. In N.J. Smelser & R. Swedberg (Eds.), In The Handbook of Economic Sociology (pp. 1-26). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  96. Smith, C. W. (1989). Auctions: The social construction of value. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  97. Smith, P. (1998). The new American cultural sociology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  98. Smith-Doerr, L., & Powell, W. (2005). “Networks and economic life.” In The Handbook of Economic Sociology In N.J. Smelser & R. Swedberg (Eds.) (pp. 379–402). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  99. Spillman, L. (2001). Cultural sociology. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  100. Swedberg, R. (1997). New economic sociology: What has been accomplished, what is ahead? Acta Sociologica, 40(2), 161–182.Google Scholar
  101. Swedberg, R., & Granovetter, M. S. (Eds.). (1992). The sociology of economic life. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  102. Turner, J. H. (2006). American sociology in Chaos: Differentiation without integration. The American Sociologist, 37(2), 15–29.Google Scholar
  103. Turner, S. (2016). American sociology: From pre-disciplinary to post-Normal. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  104. Useem, M. (1982). Classwide rationality in the politics of managers and directors of large corporations in the United States and Great Britain. Administrative Science Quarterly, 27, 199–226.Google Scholar
  105. Useem, M. (1984). The inner circle: Large corporations and the rise of business political activity in the US and UK. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  106. Uzzi, B. (1996). The sources and consequences of embeddedness for the economic performance of organizations: The network effect. American Sociological Review, 61, 674–698.Google Scholar
  107. Uzzi, B. (1997). Networks and the paradox of embeddedness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42, 35 67.Google Scholar
  108. Uzzi, B. (1999). Embeddedness in the making of financial capital: How social relations and networks benefit firms seeking financing. American Sociological Review, 64, 481–505.Google Scholar
  109. Uzzi, B., & Lancaster, R. (2004). Embeddedness and Price formation in the corporate law market. American Sociological Review, 69, 319–344.Google Scholar
  110. Uzzi, B., & Spiro, J. (2005). Collaboration and creativity: The small world problem. American Journal of Sociology, 111, 447–504.Google Scholar
  111. Wang, D. (2012). Is there a canon in economic sociology? Accounts, 11(29), 1–8.Google Scholar
  112. Wasserman, S., & Faust, K. (1994). Social network analysis: Methods and applications. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  113. Watts, D. (2004). The ‘new’ science of networks. Annual Review of Sociology, 30, 243–270.Google Scholar
  114. Weeden, K. A., Thébaud, S., & Gelbgiser, D. (2017). Degrees of difference: Gender segregation of US doctorates by field and program prestige. Sociological Science, 4, 123–150.Google Scholar
  115. West, D. B. (1996). Introduction to graph theory. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  116. Westphal, J. D., & Zajac, E. (1997). Defections from the inner circle: Social exchange, reciprocity, and the diffusion of board Independence in U.S. corporations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42, 161–183.Google Scholar
  117. Westphal, J. D., & Milton, L. P. (2000). How experience and network ties affect the influence of demographic minorities on corporate boards. Administrative Science Quarterly, 45, 366–398.Google Scholar
  118. Westphal, J. D., & Stern, I. (2006). The other pathway to the boardroom: Interpersonal influence behavior as a substitute for elite credentials and majority status in obtaining board appointments. Administrative Science Quarterly, 51, 169–204.Google Scholar
  119. Wherry, F. F., Seefeldt, K. S., & Alvarez, A. S. (2019). To lend or not to lend to friends and kin: Awkwardness, obfuscation, and negative reciprocity. Social Forces, 1–23.Google Scholar
  120. White, H. C. (1981). Where do Markets come from? American Journal of Sociology, 87, 517–547.Google Scholar
  121. White, H. C., Boorman, S. A., & Breiger, R. L. (1976). Social structure from multiple networks. I. Blockmodels of roles and positions. American Journal of Sociology, 81, 730–780.Google Scholar
  122. Whittington, K. B., Owen-Smith, J., & Powell, W. W. (2009). Networks, propinquity, and innovation in knowledge-intensive industries. Administrative Science Quarterly, 54, 90–122.Google Scholar
  123. Williamson, O. (1975). Markets and hierarchies. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  124. Yakubovich, V. (2005). Weak ties, information, and influence: How workers find jobs in a local Russian labor market. American Sociological Review, 70, 408–421.Google Scholar
  125. Zelizer, V. (1979). Morals and markets: The development of life Insurance in the United States. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  126. Zelizer, V. (1985). Pricing the priceless child: The changing social value of children. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  127. Zelizer, V. (1994). The social meaning of money. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  128. Zelizer, V. (2005). The purchase of intimacy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  129. Zelizer, V. (2010). Economic lives: How culture shapes economy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  130. Zelizer, V. A. (2012). How I became a relational economic sociologist and what does that mean? Politics and Society, 40(2), 145–174.Google Scholar
  131. Zuckerman, H. (1967). Nobel laureates in science: Patterns of productivity, collaboration, and authorship. American Sociological Review, 32, 391–403.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations