Neo-structural economic sociology beyond embeddedness: Relational infrastructures and social processes in markets and market institutions

Abstract : This short presentation is a “go to” summary providing interested readers with indications of our development of this neo-structural economic sociology. The notion of a social discipline that is perceived as legitimate by members of a social milieu is an important notion for understanding the contemporary form of cooperation between competitors. This form of cooperation relies on two dimensions of the very general notion of social discipline. A first dimension is located at the individual level and can be observed in the relational and symbolic work previously discussed. Actors are equipped with a social rationality (Lazega, 1992), thanks to which they design common projects and invest in relationships to manage their interdependencies via multiplex social exchange. The second dimension of the notion of social discipline exists at the collective level, although it is also endogenized by individual members. We refer to this second dimension as relational infrastructures. These infrastructures include horizontal and vertical differentiations in the social milieux of interdependent entrepreneurs. Horizontal differentiations correspond to systems of niches and vertical differentiations to heterogeneous forms of status. Relational infrastructures are crucial for the deployment and steering of key social processes usually associated with collective action among interdependent peers. We focus on such processes because they can help actors in managing the dilemmas of their collective actions: collective learning and socialization, bounded solidarity and exclusions, social control and conflict resolution, regulation and institutionalization. Our methodological contribution offers models of such processes using socio-economic network analyses mixed with other methods.
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Julien Brailly, Catherine Comet, Sébastien Delarre, Fabien Eloire, Guillaume Favre, et al.. Neo-structural economic sociology beyond embeddedness: Relational infrastructures and social processes in markets and market institutions. economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter, 2018, 19 (3), pp.36-49. ⟨hal-01915028v2⟩



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