Home > E Words > economic determinism

economic determinism

Definition of Economic Determinism

(noun) A theory stating all social phenomena are determined by economic factors such as supply and demand.

Economic Determinism Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: ec·o·nom·ic de·ter·min·ism

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /ek-uh-nAHm-ik di-tUHR-muh-niz-uhm/
  • British English – /e-kuh-nOm-ik di-tUHR-mi-ni-zuhm/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˌɛkəˈnɑmɪk dɪˈtɜrməˌnɪzəm/
  • British English – /ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪk dɪˈtɜːmɪnɪzm/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: economic determinisms
  • Not to be confused with economic reductionism.
  • A type of determinism.
  • Also called economism.
  • An (noun) economic determinist views society (adverbeconomic deterministically from a (adjectiveeconomic deterministic perspective.

Related Quotation

  • “The capitalistic economy of the present day is an immense cosmos into which the individual is born, and which presents itself to him, at least as an individual, as an unalterable order of things in which he must live. It forces the individual, in so far as he is involved in the system of market relationships, to conform to capitalistic rules of action. The manufacturer who, in the long run, acts contrary to these norms, will just as inevitably be eliminated from the economic scene as the worker who cannot or will not adapt himself to them will be thrown into the streets without a job” (Weber [1904–5] 1930:19–20).

Related Video

Additional Information

Related Terms


Weber, Max. [1904–1905] 1930. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by T. Parsons. London: Allen and Unwin.

Note: Page number is from a reprinted edition, Routledge Classics (2001).

Works Consulted

Bilton, Tony, Kevin Bonnett, Pip Jones, David Skinner, Michelle Stanworth, and Andrew Webster. 1996. Introductory Sociology. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan.

Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Thorpe, Christopher, Chris Yuill, Mitchell Hobbs, Sarah Tomley, and Marcus Weeks. 2015. The Sociology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained. London: Dorling Kindersley.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Economic Determinism

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “economic determinism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 23, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/economic-determinism/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

economic determinism. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/economic-determinism/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “economic determinism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 23, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/economic-determinism/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“economic determinism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 23 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/economic-determinism/>.