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2023/2024  KAN-CPHIO3009U  Economic Sociology of Markets and Innovation

English Title
Economic Sociology of Markets and Innovation

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Fourth Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Stefan Schwarzkopf - Department of Business Humanities and Law (BHL)
Main academic disciplines
  • Philosophy and ethics
  • Innovation
  • Sociology
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 20-11-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Students should be able to outline the advantages and limitations of core theoretical approaches in economic sociology
  • Critically apply theories, methods and models of both classical and more recent economic sociologists to contemporary business and economic problems
  • Differentiate between different forms of co-ordination in the economy
  • Identify the differences between ‘status’ and ‘standard-offer’ markets
  • Show how different economic sociologists have explained the emergence of value in an economy
  • Discuss the differences between different forms of economic valuation
  • Discuss the differences between Schumpeterian and non-Schumpeterian understandings of entrepreneurship
  • Explain the differences between a market economy and a market society
Economic Sociology of Markets and Innovation:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
The page-limit excludes things like front page, appendix, reference list and bibliography, etc.
Assignment type Synopsis
Release of assignment An assigned subject is released in class
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam Written sit-in exam
Assignment type: Written assignment
Duration: 4 hours
Aids:Closed book: no aids
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Based on a mix of lectures and case study discussions, this course will introduce FLØK students to key concepts in contemporary economic sociology, including competition, entrepreneurship, innovation, markets, marketization, and value. The course will begin by introducing students to classical sociological approaches to economic life, mainly through thinkers like Weber, Simmel, Polanyi, and Schumpeter. In the second part of the course, students will be introduced to some of the more recent schools of thought in economic sociology, especially those that focus on how markets get shaped through practices of valuation (e.g., Boltanski & Thevenot). Discussions of other more recent schools of thought in economic sociology will also include Bourdieu, Callon and Foucault. 

All lectures will be followed up by short case studies which introduce a market-situation which will test students’ ability to apply and critique the methods and theoretical principles that were introduced during the lecture. A key aim of the course is to enable students to pursue research and interpret the phenomena of markets and innovation by drawing on a wide range of social theorists, but also to understand the limitations of, for example, ‘purely’ Marxist, Weberian or Schumpeterian analyses of market societies.   

• Students will receive a grounding in classical approaches to economic sociology as well as insights into more contemporary schools of thought in economic sociology

• Students will learn how economists of the neoclassical tradition (‘mainstream’) and, by contrast, how sociologists study and theorize market-related phenomena

• Students will learn how economists of the neoclassical tradition (‘mainstream’) and, by contrast, how sociologists study and theorize market-related phenomena

• Students will learn how recent approaches in economic sociology provide a novel understanding of how market participants create, enact, order and discount value

• Students will engage with Schumpeterian and more recent, non-Schumpeterian approaches to understanding entrepreneurship, innovation and competition in the market



Description of the teaching methods
5 weeks; 2 meetings per week of 3x45mins. The fist part of the meeting is usually devoted to a lecture, with the second part being a case discussion and/or group work.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive feedback as part of ongoing teaching and are encouraged to make use of the office hours.
Student workload
Lectures 23 hours
Exam 40 hours
Preparation 138 hours
Expected literature

Indicative Reading List:


  • Patrick Aspers, Markets. Polity Press, 2011.
  • Victor Nee and Richard Swedberg, The Economic Sociology of Capitalism. Princeton University Press, 2005.
  • Richard Swedberg, Principles of Economic Sociology. Princeton University Press, 2007.
  • Isabelle Dussauge, Claes-Fredrik Helgesson and Francis Lee, ‘Valuography: studying the making of values’. In: Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine (ed. by I. Dussauge, C.-F. Helgesson and F. Lee). Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • Janos Kornai, Dynamism, Rivalry and the Surplus Economy. Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • Martin Kornberger et al (eds.), Making Things Valuable. Oxford University Press, 2015.


Last updated on 20-11-2023