SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Journal Article 6.1 Swedberg, R. (2011). The economic sociologies of Pierre Bourdieu. Cultural Sociology, 5(1), 67–82. DOI: 10.1177/1749975510389712
Abstract: Instead of trying to locate the economic sociology of Bourdieu, I argue that his analysis of the economy was developed over such a long time period, is so rich, and goes in so many interesting directions, that we are justified in speaking of Bourdieu’s economic sociologies in the plural. While most sociologists know about Bourdieu’s study Distinction (1986) and its analysis of consumption, there is less awareness of the fact that Bourdieu himself, toward the end of his life, said that he had produced three major studies of economic topics. These are his work in Algeria on “the economy of honour” and “good faith” (1950s and 1960s), his study of credit (Bourdieu et al., 1963), and his study of the economy of single-family houses (Bourdieu et al., 1999). These three studies are presented and discussed in detail, and so is Bourdieu’s attempt to formulate a general program for ‘economic anthropology’ in his article “The Economic Field” (1997), drawing on such concepts as field, habitus, and capital. Some critique has been directed at Bourdieu’s analysis of the economy, and this is also discussed.

Journal Article 6.2 Komter, A. (2007). Gifts and social relations: The Mechanisms of reciprocity. International Sociology, 22(1), 93–107. DOI: 10.1177/0268580907070127
Abstract: In the modern gift literature, an anti-utilitarian and a utilitarian view on the gift can be distinguished. From the anti-utilitarian perspective, the freedom of the gift is seen as one of its main characteristics, while the idea that gifts are caught in a cycle of reciprocity is downplayed. In the utilitarian approach, assumptions about rational actors weighing their preferences according to some utility are predominant. In the first approach, reciprocity is seen as undermining “genuine” gifts. The utilitarian approach does take reciprocity into account but fails to analyze why the principle of reciprocity is so effective. This article attempts to provide such an explanation. By illuminating both the variety of the forms of the gift and the universality of the underlying principle, it is argued that gifts reflect a multipurpose symbolic “utility” that transcends both utilitarianism and anti-utilitarianism.

Journal Article 6.3 Dolan, C. S. (2005). Fields of obligation: Rooting ethical sourcing in Kenyan horticulture. Journal of Consumer Culture, 5(3), 365–389. DOI: 10.1177/1469540505056796
Abstract: It was not so long ago that mangoes, papaya, and snow peas evoked images of tropical climes and exotic peoples. Recently, however, the consumption of so-called luxury fruits and vegetables has elicited a different sort of imagery. Far from the lure of seductive landscapes, today’s consumer is confronted with haunting images of toxic fields, child slavery, and the African poor. Such images are part of a new morality of consumption, where consumers, NGOs, trade unions, and global supermarkets aspire to “save” the African worker from the downside of globalization. This article explores the ways in which Kenya’s highly valuable vegetable trade has become the field on which notions of justice, economic rights, and African development are played out. Based on archival research and consumer interviews, it focuses specifically on how the ethical turn of U.K. consumers (and the retailers’ branding of this sensibility) is rooted in an older legacy, whereby 19th-century liberal considerations of duty, morality, and progress inhabited the agenda of the late colonial state. The article suggests that, in both cases, African labor is an arena in which discourses of justice are played out, as a consuming public (re)constitute the African worker as an object of their duty and obligation.