Two Approaches to the Influence of Economic Discourse on Social Phenomena

Nicolas Brisset

Table of Contents


The influence of theoretical discourse on the corresponding field of study is an important feature of social science: social scientists shape the world by describing it. This phenomenon has been studied in several ways. Some recent economic sociology studies have focused on the fact that the economy is part of the economic theory used to analyze it. Great names in economic theory have focused on the effects of economists’ discourse on agents’ behaviors. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the distinction between these two kinds of contributions which deal with the same object. Finally, we will explain the analytical distinction through a difference inherent in the initial problematic. Following trends in the French school of the economics of convention, we analyze the social influence of theoretical discourse strategically (in connection with economics) and interpretively (in connection with sociology).


  • social influence of theoretical discours
  • performativity
  • economics of convention
  • rational expectations
  • Morgenstern paradox