LSE | Social Psychology of Economic Life: Advanced Topics

The Mint Magazine covers a wide range of topics that relate to the Social Psychology of Economic Life. Our articles are short and designed to be an easy read.  Below we have some suggestions for material that might help you bring different angles to your course weekly topics.  You can also search for further content and explore the wealth of fresh thinking in economics that The Mint brings or check out our topics page.

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Week 1 - Introduction

The birth of neoclassical economics and why and how social and psychological dimensions were excluded from its analysis of economic life.

The illusion of stability

Economic calm is always the precursor to a storm. Economics says stability is the sign of a healthy economy. There may be shocks that temporarily knock an economy out of

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Sharks are eating the whales

Alex Kozul-Wright reviews The Value of a Whale by Adrienne Buller, Manchester Press (2022) and The Finance Curse by Nicholas Shaxson, Penguin Random House (2018). Though distinct in their focus,

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How scarce is an opportunity

William Darity Jr. explains why scarcity isn’t everything. One of the consistent obstacles for aggressive action to address global warming is encapsulated in the question, “How will we pay for

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Week 2 - The social psychology of modernity: Tackling the disenchantment of the economic world

The social and psychological processes at the core of the experience economy used by corporations to combat the “disenchantment of the world” due to the development of market.

The growing realisation

Tim Jackson has just published a new book, Post Growth – Life After Capitalism, examining our disastrous obsession with growth in a finite world and how we might escape it. 

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All is revealed

Alessandra Mezzadri explains how productivity barely covers anything in fast-fashion prices. In April this year, the UK multi-channel retail brand Missguided advertised the sale of a £1 bikini. It was

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Week 3 & 4 - Metaphors and decision-making in economic life & Narratives and decision-making

How the study of economic life was enriched by the research conducted on the experiential system by psychologists investigating embodiment and sense making through the study of metaphors and stories in real-world economic life.
Home Truths

Government spending that is not investment is like continual partying and drinking. Tanweer Ali tells how austerity was sold as common sense. In the early days of David Cameron’s coalition

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Week 5 & 6 - The self & its extension in economic life and Presenting the sefl to others in economic life

This broadens the perspective by taking into account social interactions in economic life. It considers the dramaturgy of everyday economic life in line with social interactionism. Social roles and face concept, together withfield studies on emotional labour and emotional dissonance, are suggested to deepen the analysis of social interactions and the interpretation of lab results.
Beyond denial

Sandra White maps a route through denial and towards action on climate change. Despite growing evidence of climate change, only a few years ago I regularly heard people deny that

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Week 7 - Bonding with others in economic life

Considering how a gift – a behaviour that seems to be non-rational and non-selfish – can participate in the emergence of social relations and make them last – even against people’s will.
From Russia with luck

A tale of corruption and corridors. The Mint hears how Alena Ledeneva looks for favours. During the final days of the Soviet Union in 1990, a young sociology student in

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Normally corrupt

Riccardo D’Emidio explores why social norms and informality matter in considerations of corruption. Growing up in a British-Italian household I was regularly surprised by how differently people behaved in the

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Week 8 - Using and disrupting social norms

Considering individual within social groups. As a group member, individual behaviour is ruled by social norms some of which are used and broken by corporations and governments in the marketplace.

Week 9 - Changing economic life: From scepticism to resistance in marketplace

How contrary to the mainstream economic position, individuals are not passive beings moulded by their economic environment. They interpret it and can try to change it through resistance to persuasion (inertia, scepticism, reactance) and resistance to consumption (avoidance, minimisation, boycott/active rebellion) in the marketplace.
Bring out the Best

Governments using regulators and other institutions to stick-and-carrot people into acting for the common good is not the way to deliver policy. Henry Leveson-Gower shares his discovery of a more

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Week 10 - Social exclusion in economic life

How social exclusion is a problem because of the need to belong, what the effects of social exclusion are on prosocial behaviour (an economic way for belonging to a group) and why poverty is more than a material condition (it is a psychological and social state, e.g., a stigma).
Hearty laughter

Dr Julian Abel tracks the emotional way to good health. England is about to undergo another reorganisation of health and social care by integrating the two. Theoretically, this should make

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