The Introduction discusses economic sociology with a focus on its theory, offering a historical account of development of new economic sociology in the light of sociology, and classic economic sociology. Although the “new” economic sociology developed since the 1980s is one of the most vibrant sub-fields of sociology, there is a long tradition of sociologists studying the economy and engaging critically with classical and neoclassical economic thought. The field of economic sociology is presented as central for developing new theory in the social sciences, with network theory as its clearest example. The text argues that the theoretical “toolkit” of new economic sociology has been informed by two fundamental propositions: first, that economic action is embedded in social structure and/or other variants, such as political processes and cultural practices; and, second, that the economic system is embedded in society.
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