Comparative and Historical Perspectives in Economic Sociology

The Handbook of Economic Sociology, p. 26, 2005

24 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2014

See all articles by Frank Dobbin

Frank Dobbin

Harvard University - Department of Sociology

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

Students of economic behavior have long subscribed to the common sense view that natural laws govern economic life. In the discipline of economics, the prevailing view is that economic behavior is determined exogenously, by a force outside of society, rather than endogenously, by forces within. Self-interest is that force, and it is exogenous to society because it is inborn-part of human nature. Self-interest guides human behavior toward the most efficient means to particular ends. If economic behavior is instinctual, the reasoning goes, we need to know little about society to predict behavior.

Suggested Citation

Dobbin, Frank, Comparative and Historical Perspectives in Economic Sociology (2005). The Handbook of Economic Sociology, p. 26, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2412603

Frank Dobbin (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Sociology ( email )

33 Kirkland Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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