As an emerging meta-discipline, socio-economics begins with the assumption that economics is not a
self-contained system, but is embedded in society, polity, and culture. Socio-economics regards
competition as a subsystem encapsulated within a societal context that contains values, power relations,
and social networks. The societal context both enables and constrains competition. Socio-economics
assumes that interests are not necessarily or automatically complementary and harmonious, and that
societal sources of order are necessary for markets to function efficiently.
Socio-economics further assumes that individual choices are shaped by values, emotions, social bonds,
and moral judgments rather than by narrow self-interest. There is no a priori assumption that people
act rationally or that they only pursue self-interest or pleasure.
Methodologically, socio-economics regards inductive studies as co-equal in standing with deductive
ones. For example, a study of how firms actually behave has the same basic merit as treating the
firm as an analytic concept in a mathematical model. Inductive inputs and deductive derivations
are assumed to correct and thus balance each other. Socio-economics is both a positive and a normative
science. That is, it openly recognizes its policy relevance and seeks to be self-aware of its normative
implications rather than maintain the mantle of an exclusively positive science.
Socio-economics does not entail a
commitment to any one ideological position, but is open to a range of positions that share a view of
treating economic behavior as involving the whole person and all facets of society.
aka, navel gazing on a global scale 🙂