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How do markets produce goods and services?


What's missing from economics and how market society works?

-Firms (competitors and suppliers)

What is economic sociology?

-The study of how the material production and consumption of human populations depend on social processes for their structure and dynamics

What is the sociology of markets?

-The study of how markets are social structures that reflect how market actors are organized in order to produce a stable market

Markets are self-reproducing role structures

-Set of competitors, watching each other, taking positions, interpreting others' behavior and reacting to moves

What social rules must exist for markets to function and what types of social structure are necessary to produce stable markets?

-Networks and trust
-Networks and information
-Networks and power
-Formal and informal rules of interaction

Rent seeking

-Actors who have too much social power can make the gains of a particular market flow disproportionately to themselves

Firms can rent seek by

-having monopolies, oligopolies, or control over scarce resources
-from economic POV, these rents reflect market power not efficiency
-from sociological POV, this means that either firms or states can produce stable but inefficient markets

What is a social, not economic, view of what actors do in markets?

-to make a stable market requires on the problems of trust, power, and culture

Political-Cultural Approach

-if markets are particular types of social structures, then it follows that our general ideas about how social structure work ought to apply to understanding markets

How are local social orders constructed?

-Meso level social structure
-Organized social space

Strategies actors use to attain stability of market shares

-competition-price cutting
-differentiation of products in a niche (high end vs. low end)
-control over critical resources
-appeal to the government for help

Goal of action

-To produce stable market
-To enhance or at least one's own survival, growth, and profits

Conception of control

-reflect market specific understandings between actors and principles of internal organization, tactics for competition and cooperation, and the hierarchy or status order of firms
-markets reflect common cultural understandings by all market actors about what the product is and what the main tactics are to create and maintain position
-used by market actors to interpret the actions of others
-if an incumbent firm introduces a new product, a challenger firm has to figure out how to respond

Goal of sociological market analysis

Understand solving the problems of:
1. resource dependence on suppliers
2. role of competitors
3. controlling internal organization/workers
4. potential external threats
5. produce market stability

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