SO430      Half Unit
Economic Sociology

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Fabien Accominotti  - STC 206


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Accounting, MSc in Economy, Risk and Society , MSc in Political Sociology and MSc in Sociology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Are we really rational utility-maximisers? What is ‘the economy’ and what is its relationship to society? How does economic life reflect and enact moral categories? How can we understand the production of economic ‘winners’ and ‘losers’? This course offers a general introduction to the theoretical foundations of economic sociology, providing an opportunity to engage questions like these through both sociologically grounded accounts of economic phenomena and sociological critiques of the analytical assumptions and research procedures common in mainstream economics.

Topics covered in the course include: critical approaches to economy and society; economic rationality; the sociology of economics; morals and markets; valuation and worth; sociology of consumption; credit and debt; class and inequality.


25 hours of seminars in the LT.

Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in LT Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

A project overview due in week 7 of LT. Individual feedback sessions in office hours provided to check student project development.

Indicative reading

Recommended general texts: M Granovetter & R Swedberg (Eds), The Sociology of Economic Life; D Slater & F Tonkiss, Market Society: Markets and Modern Social Theory; N Smelser & R Swedberg (Eds), The Handbook of Economic Sociology; V Nee & R Swedberg (Eds), The Economic Sociology of Capitalism. A detailed reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course.


Project (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

An electronic copy of the assessed essay, to be uploaded to Moodle, no later than 4.00pm on the second Wednesday of Summer Term. 

Attendance at all workshop sessions and submission of all set coursework is required.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2018/19: 26

Average class size 2018/19: 26

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills