Work in Progress: Sociology on the economy, work and inequality is a public sociology blog of the American Sociological Association (ASA). It is intended to disseminate sociological research and findings to the general public, with a particular emphasis on contributing to policy debates. It is a form of “short-form digital publishing” that is substantially shorter than the traditional formats of academia – books and journal articles – but is distinct from personal blogs, specialist blogs and more informal blogs in having an editorial team and a focus on publishing polished, short, accessible articles.
Work in Progress – or WIP – is cosponsored by four Sections of the ASA:
- Organizations, Occupations and Work
- Economic Sociology
- Labor and Labor Movements
- Inequality, Poverty and Mobility
While the various branches of mainstream economics are based around a largely unified theoretical framework – rational actors responding to incentives – sociology consists of a number of complementary, mid-range theories. Much of sociological theory is highly critical of mainstream economics, in particular, its assumptions of perfect rationality, perfect information and information processing capability, fair and equal exchange, and efficient markets tending toward equilibrium and stability.
In contrast to the deductive and ahistorical approach of economics, sociology is inductive and historical, emphasizing how economy and society are fundamentally constituted by social and political institutions, from cultural understandings, habits, ways of thinking and norms to formal organizations, rules and laws, to a range of power relationships (class, race/ethnicity, gender, etc). The four Sections that sponsor this blog draw on and develop organization theory, institutional theory, labor process theory, network theory, comparative political economy and other approaches that see culture, politics and institutions as the foundational building blocks of economy and society.
The editorial team includes eight members, with representatives from each of the four Sections. We feature two primary types of content:
- Regular posts typically take one of three forms:
- Research findings
- News analysis
- Panels consist of discussions between a group of invited contributors each writing about a particular theme
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American Sociological Association nor do they represent the views of the universities or institutions with which we are affiliated.