Sociology of economics or sociology of economy? theoretical-methodological arguments for sociological economics

Research paper by Milan Zafirovski

Indexed on: 01 Sep '01Published on: 01 Sep '01Published in: Forum for Social Economics


This paper makes a proposal for reintroducing sociological or social economics into contemporary economic science. Such a reintroduction is proposed to be substantive, by analyzing the social structuring of the economy, and formal, by including sociological/social economics in the current (JEL) classification system of economic disciplines (code A.15). Both epistemological and ontological arguments can be presented to support the proposal. Epistemological arguments invoke the presence of essential components of sociological economics in the development of economic thought, and ontological arguments stress the role of social factors in economic life. In this paper I present primarily epistemological (theoretical-methodological) arguments for sociological economics, and secondarily ontological ones. I show that the present designation, sociology of economics, is something different from sociological or social economics in that the former refers to economic epistemology (knowledge) and the latter to economic ontology (reality). I conclude that, in addition to a sociology of economic science, we need a sociology of economic life.