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England's Great Transformation"Law, Labor, and the Industrial Revolution"$
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Marc W. Steinberg

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226329819

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226330013.001.0001

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Retelling The Great Transformation

Retelling The Great Transformation

(p.139) Chapter Seven Retelling The Great Transformation
England's Great Transformation

Marc W. Steinberg

University of Chicago Press

The final look at labor law and control involves a top-down analysis, examining the ways in which embeddedness at the national level became the stage for significant transformation. One of the signal works that raised the question of how economic activity is embedded in societal institutions and has been the touchstone of many subsequent debates is Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. Social scientists of disparate intellectual persuasions credit The Great Transformation and Polanyi’s subsequent work with spurring the examination of the economy as an ‘instituted’ process. The ambiguities in Polanyi’s writings have spawned a series of debates over the intellectual lineage of his vision and its affinities with other macro perspectives on capitalist development, as well as over core concepts such as embeddedness. This chapter engages these issues in so far as they facilitate a rethinking of the narrative of the English Industrial Revolution and its consequences depicted in the The Great Transformation.

Keywords:   Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, double movement, embeddedness, market society

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