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Extending the rational choice model from the economy to society

Опубликовано на портале: 15-12-2002
Economy and Society. 2000.  Vol. 29. No. 2. P. 181 - 206. 
Тематический раздел:
That the extension of the rational choice model beyond the economy to all society can finally lead to integration of social theory is often claimed by the models advocates. The underlying assumption is that this model is valid for both the economy and society, in the form of an economic approach to, or a utilitarian paradigm of, all social behaviour. The meta-theoretical presupposition or injunction that agents are (should be) profit-seekers or utility-optimizers is therewith given the mission to integrate and save contemporary social science. However, such extensions of the rational choice model from the economy to society neglect the fact that this presupposition has been partly mitigated and compromised within economics itself. If so, then suspicion is strong that the rational choice model would be even less appropriate for the other social sciences and thus fall short of achieving its self-designated role of integration of social theory. The conclusion of an interdisciplinary analysis drawing both from economics and sociology is that rational choice is far from being an integrative model of the economy and society.