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Economics as symbolic capital: The consecration of elite business schools
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4725-8757
Number of Authors: 12022 (English)In: Theory and society, ISSN 0304-2421, E-ISSN 1573-7853, Vol. 51, no 3, p. 435-455Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ever since the first elite business schools were founded in Europe and the United States during the late 1800s and early 1900s, they have enjoyed an intimate relationship with economics. Despite some notable analyses of economics' importance for the successful institutionalization of business schools, an understanding of the relation between economics and elite business schools requires further development. As such, this paper focuses on 'economics as symbolic capital' for the consecration of business schools as elite settings, with particular emphasis on the symbolic aspects of economics' cultural and social capital. Consecration can be seen as critical to the institutionalization of elite business schools; in contrast to the primary focus of previous studies on the material significance of economics in business schools, my chief concern is the discipline's symbolic power and importance for business schools' status as elite institutions in many countries today. Data from a study on Sweden's elite business school, The Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), were based on both historical and contemporary sources, including archival material, biographies, statistics, participant observations, and interviews with faculty and students. The SSE is one of the world's oldest elite business schools where economics has played a critical role ever since its establishment; the SSE's economics faculty has a unique relation to the ultimate source of capital for contemporary global economics, namely, The Nobel Prize in Economics, which exerts a significant influence on the discipline's general standing and status today.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 51, no 3, p. 435-455
Keywords [en]
Consecration, Economics, Elite business school, Symbolic capital
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-197149DOI: 10.1007/s11186-021-09455-zISI: 000674214100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85110592331OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-197149DiVA, id: diva2:1597795
Available from: 2021-09-27 Created: 2021-09-27 Last updated: 2022-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Holmqvist, Mikael

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