Contemporary articles citing Portes A (1993) Am J Sociol

economic, suggests, capital, institutional, framework, interaction, first, concept, dynamic, sociological

Fine, GA & B Harrington. 2004. "Tiny Publics: Small Groups and Civil Society." Sociological Theory. 22:3 341-356. Link
It has been conventional to conceptualize civic life through one of two core images: the citizen as lone individualist or the citizen as joiner. Drawing on analyses of the historical development of the public sphere, we propose an alternative analytical framework for civic engagement based on small-group interaction. By embracing this micro-level approach, we contribute to the debate on civil society in three ways. By emphasizing local interaction contexts-the microfoundations of civil society-we treat small groups as a cause, context, and consequence of civic engagement. First, through framing and motivating, groups encourage individuals to participate in public discourse and civic projects. Second, they provide the place and support for that involvement. Third, civic engagement feeds back into the creation of additional groups. A small-groups perspective suggests how civil society can thrive even if formal and institutional associations decline. Instead of indicating a decline in civil society, a proliferation of small groups represents a healthy development in democratic societies, creating cross-cutting networks of affiliation.

Brint, S. 2001. "Gemeinschaft Revisited: a Critique and Reconstruction of the Community Concept." Sociological Theory. 19:1 1-23. Link
Community remains a potent symbol and aspiration in political and intellectual life. However, it has largely passed out of sociological analysis. The paper shows why this has occurred, and it develops a new typology that can make the concept useful again in sociology: The neu typology is based on identifying structurally distinct subtypes of community using a small number of partitioning variables. The first partition is defined by the ultimate context of interaction; the second by the primary motivation for interaction; the third by rates of interaction and location of members; and the fourth by the amount of face-to-face as opposed ro computer-mediated interaction. This small number of partitioning variables yields eight major subtypes of community. The paper shows how and why these major subtypes are related to important variations in the behavioral and organizational outcomes of community. The paper also seeks to resolve some disagreements between classical liberalism and communitarians. It shows that only a few of the major subtypes of community are likely to be as illiberal and intolerant as the selective imagery of classical liberals asserts, while at the same time only a few are prone to generate as much fraternalism and equity as the selective imagery of communitarians suggests. The paper concludes by discussing the forms of community that are best suited to the modern world.

Borocz, J. 1997. "Stand Reconstructed: Contingent Closure and Institutional Change." Sociological Theory. 15:3 215-248. Link
The process is traced whereby crucially important, multiple denotations of classical sociology's key notion referring to social position-the Weberian German concept of Stand-have been stripped to create a simplified and inaccurate representation of social inequalities. Some historical material from central Europe is surveyed, with a brief look at Japan, to demonstrate validity problems created by blanket application of the culturally specific, streamlined notions of status/class. As an alternative, a notion of contingent social closure argues that relaxing the modernizationist assumptions of a single transition from estate to status/class increases the comparative-historical sensitivity of research on social structure, inequality, and stratification. A dynamic reading of Polanyi suggests a reconceptualization of institutions as the ``raw material'' of social change. This might help to avoid the outdated contrast of the ``West'' vs. its ``Others''.

Woolcock, M. 1998. "Social Capital and Economic Development: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis and Policy Framework." Theory and Society. 27:2 151-208. Link

Polletta, F. 1999. "``free Spaces'' in Collective Action." Theory and Society. 28:1 1-38. Link

Krippner, GR. 2001. "The Elusive Market: Embeddedness and the Paradigm of Economic Sociology." Theory and Society. 30:6 775-810. Link

Szreter, S. 2002. "The State of Social Capital: Bringing Back in Power, Politics, and History." Theory and Society. 31:5 573-621. Link

Svendsen, GLH & GT Svendsen. 2003. "On the Wealth of Nations: Bourdieuconomics and Social Capital." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 607-631. Link
Why are some countries richer than others? We suggest in the line of political economy theory that traditional production factors cannot explain the observed differences. Rather, differences in the quality of formal institutions are crucial to economic wealth. However, this type of political economy theory accentuating the role of formal institutions cannot stand on its own. This implies a socio-economic approach in the study where we supplement the formal institutional thesis with Bourdieu's idea of material and non-material forms of capital. Such new socio-economics - which might be termed a ``Bourdieuconomics'' - implies the usage of a capital theory that, methodologically, operates with material and non-material forms of capital at the same level. Here, we stress the particular importance of a non-material form of capital, namely social capital, which facilitates informal human exchange, thereby ``lubricating'' civic society and the voluntary provision of collective goods such as trust and predictable behavior. In this way, social capital reduces transaction costs in society, thereby enhancing economic growth and the creation of differences in the wealth of nations. Future research should therefore be directed towards analyses of a new and formerly disregarded production factor, social capital, within a new field of socio-economics, namely ``Bourdieuconomics.''

Light, DW. 2004. "From Migrant Enclaves to Mainstream: Reconceptualizing Informal Economic Behavior." Theory and Society. 33:6 705-737. Link
The ``informal economy'' has developed in sociological theory to refer to clusters of illegal or quasi-illegal activities, usually unreported, by which people in some immigrant or ethnic communities earn income outside regular businesses and jobs. This article first extrapolates a set of characteristics beyond the legal status of such activities that define the ``informal economy.'' These provide a richer framework for future research and the basis for identifying informal economic activity in other sectors of the legitimate mainstream economy. In fact, informalization seems to have gone from marginal activities to a mainstream movement to make large sectors more fluid, network-based, and less regulated - the informalized economy. Its characteristics are identified. They overlap with the first set but differ principally in terms of extending Merton's proposition that different social structures exert different pressures to engage in non-conforming behavior. The article concludes with policy implications for fostering greater entrepreneurship in marginal migrant communities, and it suggests new ways for economic sociologists to study network transactions in modern corporations of informal economic activity through generative sociology.

Beckert, Jens. 2009. "The Social Order of Markets." Theory and Society. 38:3 245-269. Link
In this article I develop a proposal for the theoretical vantage point of the sociology of markets, focusing on the problem of the social order of markets. The initial premise is that markets are highly demanding arenas of social interaction, which can only operate if three inevitable coordination problems are resolved. I define these coordination problems as the value problem, the problem of competition and the cooperation problem. I argue that these problems can only be resolved based on stable reciprocal expectations on the part of market actors, which have their basis in the socio-structural, institutional and cultural embedding of markets. The sociology of markets aims to investigate how market action is structured by these macrostructures and to examine their dynamic processes of change. While the focus of economic sociology has been primarily on the stability of markets and the reproduction of firms, the conceptualization developed here brings change and profit motives more forcefully into the analysis. It also differs from the focus of the new economic sociology on the supply side of markets, by emphasizing the role of demand for the order of markets, especially in the discussion of the problems of valuation and cooperation.