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Economic Sociology. Work in changing capitalisms.


Tuesday, 5 November 2019 to Thursday, 12 December 2019
Total hours: 20
Hours of lectures: 20

Examination procedure

  • oral exam


Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"

Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"


Economic sociology and the sociology of work were born out of the problematisation of the XIX century industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism. In the XXI century, its distinctive contribution is in the critical, empirical and comparative questioning of the "taken for granted" social institutions that reproduce markets and work organisations. While the focus has long been on the formal economy of industrialised countries, and on male, manual workers in manufacturing, recent developments in the field have expanded the horizon to different world regions, to the informal economy, to unpaid work and different professional and demographic groups. A sociological approach to work end economy is now defined by consideration of the relationship of the workplace to the wider society with its structures and processes, such as class, gender and collective action. In particular, today it means looking at social institutions, and at questions of control, surveillance, autonomy, unemployment and inequality that had concerned the ‘founding fathers’ of sociology at the time of the first industrial revolutions and are being redefined by current processes of change that are defined as ‘fourth industrial revolution.’ The module will do so with an applied approach to sociological theories, starting from inductive questioning of socio'economic trends (eg development and crisis) and the actual work experience and then trying to draw linkages with social theories including sociological institutionalism, labour process theory, organisation theories and feminist approaches.

By the end of the course, students will be able to critically link classic sociological frameworks and concepts to current socioeconomic and employment trends.

Bibliographical references

N. Fligstein, The Architecture of Markets (2002)

W. Streeck, How Will Capitalism End? (2016)

C. Trigilia Economic Sociology (2002)

R. Swedberg, Principles of Economic Sociology (2007)

M. Korczynski, R. Hodson and P.K. Edwards (eds), Social Theory at Work (2006)

R. Hodson, Dignity at Work (2001)

S. Edgell, H. Gottfried and E. Granter, The SAGE Handbook of Sociology of Work and Employment (2016)

R. Milkman, On Gender, Labor and Inequality (2016)

A. Kalleberg, Precarious Lives Job Insecurity and Well-Being in Rich Democracies (2018)

P. Thomson & C. Smith (eds), Working Life: Renewing Labour Process Analysis (2010)

P. Thompson & D. McHugh, Work Organisations (2009)

S. Sweet and P. Meiksins, Changing Contours of Work (2016)