SO430      Half Unit
Economic Sociology

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Gözde Guran


This course is available on the MSc in Economy 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.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). Places are allocated based on a written statement. Priority will be given to students on the MSc in Economy and Society, MSc in Political Sociology and MSc in Sociology. This may mean that not all students who apply will be able to get a place on this course.

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; racialized economic orders; credit and debt; inequality.


25 contact hours 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 9 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 seminars and submission of all set coursework is required.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2020/21: 29

Average class size 2020/21: 29

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

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