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by Ben Fine
Download Social Capital Versus Social Theory (Routledge Studies in Contemporary Political Economy) fb2
Business & Finance
  • Author:
    Ben Fine
  • ISBN:
    0415241790
  • ISBN13:
    978-0415241793
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Routledge; 1 edition (November 30, 2000)
  • Pages:
    304 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Business & Finance
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1244 kb
  • ePUB format
    1680 kb
  • DJVU format
    1221 kb
  • Rating:
    4.2
  • Votes:
    790
  • Formats:
    lit lrf mobi rtf


Routledge Studies in Contemporary Political Economy. Learn mor. ubject Categories.

Its proponents feel that social factors are properly quantifiable. Routledge Studies in Contemporary Political Economy. Economics, Finance, Business & Industry. Sociology & Social Policy.

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variable, that group scored higher than students studying something else. Value theory lies at the heart of Marxist political economy for three key reasons.

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Fine assesses the impact of Social Impact across the social sciences and shows. Ben Fine's main argument in this book is that such concers cannot be judged in terms of mathematical methods and that to try t odo so is overly simplistic. Fine assesses the impact of Social Impact across the social sciences and shows how economic analysis is being subsumed into these areas and how thinking in sociology and politics impacts upon economics.

Case Studies in Immunology. The Molecules of Life. Living in a Microbial World. Ben Fine October 19, 2000. The Political Economy of Competitiveness offers an original perspective on the relationship between economic theory and policy

Case Studies in Immunology. Its proponents feel that social factors are properly quantifiable. The Political Economy of Competitiveness offers an original perspective on the relationship between economic theory and policy.

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The idea of Social Capital is an attempt to incorporate social considerations into mainstream economic thinking. Its proponents feel that social factors are properly quantifiable. So, they use the compex algebra and statistics beloved of mainstream economic theory and measure 'units' of health care or education in the same way that they would machinery or transport.Ben Fine's main argument in this book is that such concers cannot be judged in terms of mathematical methods and that to try t odo so is overly simplistic.Fine assesses the impact of Social Impact across the social sciences and shows how economic analysis is being subsumed into these areas and how thinking in sociology and politics impacts upon economics.

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And deservedly too. Ben Fine, of the SOAS school of Marxist political economy and one of the major Marxist political economists of this day in general, has written "Social Capital vs. Social Theory" to deal with the intellectual dishonesty and vapidness that is the concept of 'social capital'.

The most obvious point that can be made against social capital is that ALL capital is by definition social, making the phrase meaningless or tautological. Yet that this has been overlooked is not a coincidence: it is, as Fine demonstrates, the direct result of applying the faulty methodology of neoclassical economics to subjects normally placed in the field of the social sciences. Since neoclassical economics cannot correctly perceive capital as a social relation, it is reduced to searching for some sort of 'glue' to explain putatively non-economic, "social", interactions. Fine shows how the concept of social capital is increasingly used by high-profile sociologists and economists to function as this glue.

Taking the phrase entirely out of its context (it is a phrase originating with Marxist sociologist Bourdieu!), people like Gary Becker and James Coleman, followed by a host of epigones, apply social capital to every imaginable variable and problem that does not easily lend itself to the standard utility modelling of neoclassical economics. Ben Fine makes short shrift of both the above named, their epigones, and the neoclassical paradigm, including the way the latter has been uncritically copied even by hostile sociologists who lack proper economic training of their own. Fine also addresses the populist packaging of social capital theory as seen in Robert Putnam's (in)famous work "Bowling Alone", and illustrates the inconsistencies and empirical problems with this work.

The Marxist criticism of social capital theory and its supporters is quite excellent. Nevertheless the book, despite being a mere 200 pages, is very repetitive and at times downright boring in its endless summing-up of different misuses of the phrase by an array of social scientists. As academic polemics go, Fine has made quite a good one, but he lacks the rhetorical power and the constant eye towards the reader that make for example the critiques of an E.P. Thompson so pleasant to read. Yet aside from these matters of style and form, this book is still highly recommended to all social scientists who wish to combat the incursions of orthodox economists into their field.
Yozshubei
Midway through this difficult but entertaining book, Fine notes that he once wrote a paper on "social capital" for the World Bank in which he used the metaphor of "skinning a cat." He was referring to the many different ways in which people have used the term and the resulting theoretical and practical confusion. Fine offers his own alternative in Part IV, a 10-page chapter that concludes the book. In Part III, he also offers 55 pages on how "social capital" has figured in the policies and plans of the World Bank.
For me, the book's value inheres in the first 2 parts of the book, in which Fine gives a social history of the term's use (and abuse) since Pierre Bourdieu's pioneering contribution. As an economist, Fine is particularly critical of how the concept has been used in economics. Gary Becker, in his imperialstic push to encompass all of social life within a methodological individualist economic framework, is roundly criticized. James Coleman, a sociologist who ran a social capital seminar at the University of Chicago with Becker, is also singled out for his uncritical acceptance of economic assumptions in building a concept of "social capital" on social exchange theory.
Fine covers a vast amount of literature in economics, political science, sociology, and other disciplines. He is a harsh critic, but he is explicit about the criteria used for his evaluations and gives credit to many others as sources of his criticisms.
Fine's prose is a bit thick at times, and a diligent copy editor could probably have shortened the book by a third. However, Fine's obvious passion for his subject and the thoroughly annotated review of the literature make this a book that scholars in the social capital field will have to read. But of course, Fine would say, "the way things are going in this ever-expanding field, that may well include just about everyone!"