Mark Granovetter is the Joan Butler Ford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences.
Professor Granovetter is currently concentrating on two main projects:
One is a book with the preliminary title Society and Economy: The Social Construction of Economic Institutions, to be published by Harvard University Press. This volume represents an attempt to develop a new synthesis on the sociology of the economy. An early version of the scheme that informs the book is in the 1985 American Journal of Sociology paper, "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness". Other material related to the projected book is contained in the paper for the Friedland/Robertson volume, in the Acta Sociologica paper, and in papers in five volumes edited, respectively, by Nohria and Eccles, Swedberg, Ortiz and Lees, Portes, and Guillen et al.
He is also conducting research on the sociology of industrial organization. One study is called the “Silicon Valley Network Analysis Project” (SiVNAP) Though everyone agrees that the most crucial aspect of Silicon Valley’s dramatic success is its networks, there has been virtually no systematic study of their history, structure and functioning. This study inquires about these networks and their evolution over time, and also investigates the institutional complex that supports local industrial activity, including financial, educational, legal, and political sectors.
Another industrial organization project (which began as a collaboration with the late Patrick McGuire, University of Toledo) concerns the origins and early development of the electricity industry in the United States. Extensive archival and secondary research shows that individuals mobilizing financial, technical and political resources through their social and professional networks pushed the industry in certain directions, with substantial historical contingency and path dependence. Technology and organizational forms were not simply responses to technical or economic exigencies; in fact, technical and organizational forms shunted aside in this period, and then forgotten, were far more plausible technically and economically than usually supposed. Some such forms, such as the decentralized production of power in homes and factories, and the separation of distribution from production, began to re-appear in the late twentieth century as the “wave of the future”; ironically, this study shows these to be, in fact, the wave of the past.
More detailed information on the two industrial organization studies can be found at www.stanford.edu/group/esrg
Economic Sociology, Social Stratification, Sociological Theory
Since 1986 Mark Granovetter has been the editor of a Cambridge University Press series, Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences. This is the only social science series that emphasizes explanation by reference to relations among concrete social entities such as persons or organizations. More than thirty volumes have appeared to date, in sociology, anthropology, political science, history and statistical methods.
- 2011. The Sociology of Economic Life, 3rd edition, edited with Richard Swedberg. Boulder, CO: Westview Press
- 1995. Getting a Job: A Study of Contacts and Careers, 2nd Edition (with a new Preface and a new chapter updating research and theory since the 1974 edition). University of Chicago Press.
Selected Papers (click on links to download):
- 2009. "The Role of Venture Capital Firms in Silicon Valley's Complex Innovation Network". With Michel Ferrary. Economy and Society 38 (2: May): 326-359.
- 2007. “The Social Construction of Corruption”. Pp. 152-172 in Victor Nee and Richard Swedberg, editors, On Capitalism, Stanford University Press.
- 2005. “Electric Charges: The Social Construction of Rate Systems”. With Valery Yakubovich and Patrick McGuire. Theory and Society 34 (5-6): 579-612.
- 2005. "The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes". Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(1 ) (Winter): 33-50.
- 2005. “Business Groups and Social Organization”. Pp. 429-450 in Neil Smelser and Richard Swedberg, editors, Handbook of Economic Sociology, Second Edition. Princeton University Press and Russell Sage Foundation.
- 2003. "Ignorance, Knowledge and Outcomes in a Small World". Science 301 (8 August, 2003): 773-774. (Perspective on Dodds, Muhammad and Watts' "An Experimental Study of Search in Global Social Networks", Science, same issue. )
- 2002. "A Theoretical Agenda for Economic Sociology". Pp. 35-59 in Mauro Guillen, Randall Collins, Paula England and Marshall Meyer, editors. The New Economic Sociology: Developments in an Emerging Field. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
- 2000. "Social Networks in Silicon Valley". With Emilio Castilla, Hokyu Hwang and Ellen Granovetter. Pp. 218-247 in Chong-Moon Lee, William F. Miller, Marguerite Gong Hancock, and Henry S. Rowen, editors, The Silicon Valley Edge. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- 1998. "The Making of an Industry: Electricity in the United States". With Patrick McGuire. Pp. 147-173, in Michel Callon, editor, The Laws of The Markets, Oxford: Blackwell.
- 1995. "Coase Revisited: Business Groups in the Modern Economy". Industrial and Corporate Change 4(1): 93-130.
- 1990 “The Myth of Social Network Analysis as a Special Method in the Social Sciences”. In Connections 13(2): 13-16.
- 1988. "Inequality and Labor Processes" (With Charles Tilly). In Neil Smelser, ed., Handbook of Sociology, pp. 175-221. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
- 1988. "The Sociological and Economic Approaches to Labor Market Analysis: A Social Structural View". Pp. 187-216 in George Farkas and Paula England, editors, Industries, Firms and Jobs: Sociological and Economic Approaches. New York: Plenum Press.
- 1988 "Threshold Models of Diversity: Chinese Restaurants, Residential Segregation and the Spiral of Silence." (With Roland Soong). In Clifford Clogg, ed., Sociological Methodology , pp. 69-104.
- 1986 "The Micro-Structure of School Desegregation". Pp. 81-110 in J. Prager, D. Longshore and M. Seeman, School Desegregation Research: New Directions in Situational Analysis. New York: Plenum Press.
- 1985. "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness." American Journal of Sociology, 91(November): 481-510.
- 1984. "Small is Bountiful: Labor Markets and Establishment Size". American Sociological Review 49(June): 323-334.
- 1979 "The Idea of ‘Advancement’ in Theories of Social Evolution and Development." American Journal of Sociology, 85 (November):489-515.
- 1978. "Threshold Models of Collective Behavior." American Journal of Sociology, 83 (May): 1420-1443.
- 1973. "The Strength of Weak Ties." American Journal of Sociology, 78 (May): 1360-1380.
Recent Course Syllabi (click on links to download):
Economic Sociology (Sociology 114/214 -- undergrad and Master's level):
Economic Sociology (Sociology 314 -- doctoral seminar):
Topics in Economic Sociology (Sociology 115/315, prerequisite 114, 214 or