Institutions, Fields, and Political Work
This chapter focuses on an alternative framework inspired by constructivist approaches to institutionalism, and the sociologies of Max Weber and Pierre Bourdieu. Structured contingency has three key components. The first is a conception of economic activity as structured by institutions that are both highly structuring and fundamentally contingent. Following Bourdieu, the framework considers this relationship between stasis and change to be structured most deeply by the spaces of action called fields. These spaces reflect both the objective positions of actors and the outcomes of struggles for symbolic hierarchization. The final part of the framework directly tackles the dynamism of fields and thus institutional orders. Instead of reducing such dynamics to the social skills of individual actors or organizations, the chapter claims that they are the consequence of political work.
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