Action theoretic foundations of economic sociology

Jack Barbalet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Structural, institutional and action theoretic foundations of economic sociology are distinguished. Action theoretic approaches do not have general relevance but relate to situations of transition or innovation, in which structures and institutions undergo crisis of various kinds. The relevance of action to innovation draws attention to the limitations of rationalist accounts and their assumptions concerning preferences and the selection of means. Because action occurs through time and promotes change assumptions concerning the stability of self interest and also the continuous identity of the actor cannot be sustained. Indeed, the distinction between self-interested and other-interested action becomes unclear when the relevance of time to action is properly understood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalKolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie
Issue numberSPEC. 49
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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