American Sociological Association

Section on Economic Sociology

History of the Section

Classic sociological thinkers were keenly interested in the relationship between the economy and the society, but as a distinctive specialty, economic sociology only began crystallizing in the 1980s, and only began serious self organization in the 1990s. As one result, the Economic Sociology Section-in-formation was created in August 2000. Chaired by Wayne Baker, the section's organizing committee—Nicole Biggart, Neil Fligstein, Mark Granovetter, Brian Uzzi, Fernanda Wanderley, and Harrison White—worked hard and effectively to set up the necessary section structure and recruit a significant number of members. Presently, the Section has more than 800 members. It became a permanent Section in January 2001. The first issue of the section's newsletter Accounts: A Newsletter of Economic Sociology, edited by Joan E. Manley and Sarah Busse appeared in the Fall of 2000.

The first section sessions on Economic Sociology were organized at the 2001 Annual Meetings of the ASA in Anaheim, California. Two sessions (“The Evolving Field of Economic Sociology,” and “Global Financial Markets”), and roundtables (“Culture and Economy”) organized by Brian Uzzi were tremendously successful, drawing large audiences. In its annual rankings of sociology departments, U.S. News and World Report includes a section on Economic Sociology.

Also see Wayne Baker's account of the formation of the Section published in Volume 1, Issue 1 of Economic Sociology_The European Electronic Newsletter in 1999: