Cum laude PhD defence by Sonia Carolina López Cerón

Dr Sonia Carolina Lopez Ceron

On the 31 January 2020, Sonia Carolina López Cerón cum laude defended her PhD thesis on ‘The Stratified Emergentist Polanyian Perspective: A Relational Approach for the Study of the Economy'.

The study aimed to:

  • fill a gap in the theoretical field of the economics of the family through the proposal of a middle-range theory: the stratified emergentist Polanyian perspective
  • explain social phenomena by unpacking their agential, structural and cultural elements
  • consider analytical dualism for the treatment of these elements
  • look at the stratified model of people

The stratified emergentist Polanyian perspective helps to explain how and why a market-led configuration of the economy has emerged and evolved in Bogotá, Colombia, and how reciprocity is subordinated to the binomial market/state in a complementary supportive relation.The dissertation’s proposal illuminates the cases of 80 Bogotá families within their contrasting realities. It shows an in-depth analysis of the interplay of mechanisms operating from structure, culture and agency is made using three cases of lower income families in particular.

This analysis explains their integration to the economy through market exchange, redistribution and reciprocity. It also highlights that when the market/state binomial (Donati’s term) is unable to meet the needs of the family, reciprocity from the extended family and friends are necessary and critical to cover this gap. At the same time, these acts of reciprocity generate relational goods - bonds of mutuality and solidarity - with their own emergent powers. It answers  the theoretical question that this dissertation addresses that the stratified emergentist Polanyian perspective explains the importance of reciprocity for these families in Bogotá, Colombia, and also its importance for the stability of the market-led configuration of the economy.

Photos and video of the defence

PhD defence Ceron short