The Interactive Complexity of Agency: Existing and Emerging Approaches for Theorizing the Economics of Culture and the Culture of Economies

Dr. Tim MacNeill
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The goal of this paper is to present an interdisciplinary space for productive conversation between economists and sociologists. Toward this I discuss two broad existing approaches for theorizing the economic and direct those into the emerging paradigm of complexity/chaos theory. I first outline the neoclassical model of the economy. Following this, I present the critique which has emerged from economic sociology and outline the field’s most powerful theoretical alternatives. Following this I provide a brief description of an emerging framework which I believe follows naturally from existing work in the field and represents the future trajectory of economic sociology. Chaos/complexity theory, I suggest, offers an opportunity to synchronize efforts in economic sociology, but also to stimulate a discourse with neoclassical economics – especially when considering ‘markets’ for ‘cultural goods ’ - which I suggest would be just about all goods.

Keywords: Economic Theory, Complexity Theory, Economic Sociology, Cultural Economics, Cultural Industries
Stream: Economics and Management
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Interactive Complexity of Agency, The

Dr. Tim MacNeill

PhD Candidate, Communication and Cultural Studies Program, York University
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tim has a six CD discography dating back to 1990 with a number of related distinctions and awards. Academically, he completed a Masters degree in Development Economics in 2003, where he studied the nature of cultural industries. Currently Tim is completing a Doctorate in Communication and Cultural Studies at York University, Toronto, Canada. His main study is in the culture of economy and the economics of culture. The main thrust of his research is to attempt to create a space within which the disciplines of economics, cultural studies, and sociology may converse constructively. The emperical starting point for this venture has been a study of the 'funny economics' of the production and consumption of music.

Ref: I07P0203