The front edge of economic and sociological science: problems of theorizing in Richard Swedberg’s writings

Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research


2019, Vol. 5. №1

The front edge of economic and sociological science: problems of theorizing in Richard Swedberg’s writings

For citation: Andrianova E. V., Ovchinnikova D. S. 2019. “The front edge of economic and sociological science: problems of theorizing in Richard Swedberg’s writings”. Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research, vol. 5, no 1, pp. 6-22. DOI: 10.21684/2411-7897-2019-5-1-6-22

About the authors:

Elena V. Andrianova, Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Head of Department of General and Economic Sociology, Institute of Finance and Economics, University of Tyumen; Senior Researcher, West-Siberian Branch of the Federal Research Sociological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Tyumen);; ORCID: 0000-0002-7769-9206

Daria S. Ovchinnikova, Master Student, University of Tyumen;


This article analyzes new ideas of theorizing as a phenomenon based on the writings of the American economic sociologist Richard Swedberg. He has contributed a lot to the contemporary economic sociology institutionalization with his theoretical breakthrough. On 29 January 2016, Swedberg received an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Uppsala University for his insights in “how useful the work of classical thinkers can be in understanding contemporary society”.

In his works of 2018, Swedberg focuses on many issues, which include solving contemporary methodologic problems in social science; paying attention to heuristics and theorizing as ways to improve oneself; integrating and using academic and practical empirical research in social science; parsing “the speculation’ issue in social science research; rethinking “Values on Paper, in the Head, and in Action”.

The analysis of theorizing as a phenomenon is presented, based on Swedberg’s papers “Before Theory Comes Theorizing or How to Make Social Science More Interesting”, “Can You Visualize Theory? On the Use of Visual Thinking in Theory Pictures, Theorizing Diagrams, and Visual Sketches”, “The role of senses and signs in the economy”; there, Swedberg speaks of the need for theorizing learning, dwelling on the problem of the actual theorizing process and presenting data visualization in social sciences as a tool of theorizing.

Assuming theorization increases the role of scientific knowledge, Swedberg presents the process of theory development and construction. The contemporary problem lies in the need to change the practical approach both to the process of theorizing and to its methods and tools.


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