Australian sociologists have barely engaged with the resurgence of economic sociology in the USA and Europe. It might be argued that this lack of engagement arises from a robust local agenda, immune from metropolitan fashions. This article argues that this is not the case. Rather, it arises from the enduring residualism of Australian sociology vis-a-vis economics. In turn, this residualism is grounded in sociology's late beginnings in Australia, the dominant framework at the time of its insititutionalization in the 1950s and 1960s, and the limited challenge presented by critical approaches from the 1970s. The article identifies four major lines of inquiry in the resurgence of economic sociology: network analysis, comparative political economy, field theory and performativity theory. Notwithstanding their differences, these approaches direct attention to the social construction of markets. In turn, they challenge both mainstream economics and sociology. The papers in this Special Edition of the Journal of Sociology build upon these lines of inquiry in the Australian context.
- Economic sociology