Veblen in Perspective: His Life and Thought (Studies in Institutional Economics)

Veblen in Perspective: His Life and Thought (Studies in Institutional Economics)

Stephen Edgell

Language: English

Pages: 221

ISBN: B00YN8L202

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This work discusses the impact and contemporary relevance of the work of Thorstein Veblen, as well as the source of his ideas. It suggests that he was one of the first modern sociologists of consumption whose analysis of contemporary display and fashion anticipated later theories and research.


















theory, 138, 142 Soviet technicians, 139–41 workmanship, 138, 139, 141, 142 scholarly influences, 142, 157–58, 159n.10 utopianism, 151, 155, 156 scholarly review Bell, Daniel, 142–44, 158n.2 Knoedler, Janet, 149–50 Layton, Edwin, 138–42 Mayhew, Anne, 149–50 Rutherford, Malcolm, 149 Stabile, Donald, 148–49 Tilman, Rick, 147–49, 151–52, 158n.7 self-regarding character, 143 socialism and, 137 private property, 137 socialist utopianism, 143–44, 147 social theory elitist technocracy

15. Montgomery Wright, letter to Joseph Dorfman, April 21, 1933; Howard Woolston, letter to Joseph Dorfman, September 11, 1932 (CUL). See also Dorfman 1934,248–50. 16. John Edward Veblen, letter to Joseph Dorfman, undated (CUL). 17. Thorstein Veblen, letters to David Starr Jordan, March 13, 1899 and April 29, 1899; J. Laurence Laughlin, letter to David Starr Jordan, April 29, 1899 (SUL). 18. Thorstein Veblen, letters to David Starr Jordan, April 9 and 16, 1906; May 1, 8, 13, 16, and 19, 1906

hinted at in Dorfman’s narrative but were underdeveloped (e.g., 1934, 247, 310, 349, 424). A second possibility is that Dorfman, those who have amplified his pathography, notably Coser (1977 [1971]), and even those who have adopted a modified Dorfman position, such as Tilman (1996), demonstrated the penchant to treat the terms “stranger” and “marginal man” as synonymous. Arguably, this tendency suffers from conceptual derangement since it can be shown that they are different social categories.

more nuanced than Tilman’s and is backed up with evidence from Veblen’s reading list for his lectures at the New School for Social Research, which show that by this time Veblen was especially well informed about the progressive ideas of some of the more radical engineers (1984; 1987). The nub of Stabile’s position is that Veblen had been interested in engineers for a long while but that it was not until after World War I that this issue ”moved to the forefront of his analysis“ (1987,42). The

(democratic), “Veblen displayed a considerable degree of consistency” (1992, 144). Rutherford also commented that the liguistic device contention “is difficult to reconcile with Veblen’s clear attempts to promote a group of radical engineers and academics” and with Veblen’s “consistent use of the argument that the industrial system was such to require control by competent technical men” (147). Somewhat surprisingly, given the depth and breadth of Rutherford’s analysis of the typicality-of-EPS

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