The Sociology of Profit
How do concepts of "legitimate" profit change, and how do they shape institutional and economic market development? How important are the methods for calculating and measuring profit? This project seeks to link change in markets and their institutional regulation to change in the social meaning of profit. A historical analysis of the regulation of accounting will be the empirical basis for examining significant changes in the cultural meaning of the term "profit." Profit legitimacy is analyzed as a cultural precondition for entrepreneurship.
Project duration: June 2010 to May 2013.
Ideas, Interests and the Welfare State: The Regulation of Unemployment (completed)
The comparative perspective of historically oriented interpretive sociology is the lens through which this doctoral project aims to explain how welfare states regulate unemployment. Nationally divergent welfare regimes reflect not only historical constellations of material interests and power, but also "taken-for-granted" perspectives on the problem of unemployment. Social insurance for the unemployed was established in Germany and the United States in the 1920s and early 1930s. In order to track the influence of ideational and cultural patterns on these processes of path creation it is necessary to change the perspective from "why" a social system for the unemployed was introduced to "how" this institution was designed concretely. Empirically, this project will examine the evolution of interests of labor market policy actors from World War I until the introduction of unemployment insurance. By analyzing historical material such as parliamentary proceedings and hearings, as well as political pamphlets and articles, the evolution of interests in the preceding debate on unemployment insurance will be described as an interplay between material and ideal structures throughout the historical process of path creation.
Project duration: October 2005 to September 2008