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  Constructing Quality: The Classification of Goods in Markets

Beckert, J., & Musselin, C. (Eds.). (2013). Constructing Quality: The Classification of Goods in Markets. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-AE77-9 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-0B41-6
Genre: Collected Edition


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Full text via Oxford Scholarship Online


Beckert, Jens1, Editor              
Musselin, Christine2, Editor
1Soziologie des Marktes, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society, ou_1214556              
2Sciences Po and the CNRS, Paris, France, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: economic sociology, sociology of finance, financial market, labor market, moral values, risks and uncertainties, classification, poetry, quality, valuation, timber market, educational values, equal opportunity, antiques market, halal, food market, funeral market, mass consumption markets, demand shaping, counterfeiting, consumption, wine market
 Abstract: How can we engage in a market relationship when the quality of the goods we want to acquire is unknown, invisible, or uncertain? For market exchange to be possible, purchasers and suppliers of goods must be able to assess the quality of a product in relation to other products. Only by recognizing qualities and perceiving quality differences can purchasers make nonrandom choices, and price differences between goods be justified. Not a natural given, “quality” is the outcome of a social process in which products come to be seen as possessing certain traits and occupying a specific position in relation to other products in the product space. While we normally take the quality of goods for granted, a closer look reveals that quality is the outcome of a highly complex process of construction involving producers, consumers, and market intermediaries engaged in judgment, evaluation, categorization, and measurement. The authors in this volume investigate the processes through which goods are “qualified.” They also investigate how product qualities are contested and how they change over time. The empirical cases cover a broad range of markets in which quality is especially difficult to assess, such as halal food, funerals, wine, labor, schools, financial products, antiques, and counterfeit goods. Constructing Quality contributes to the sociology of markets and connects to the larger issue of the constitution of social order through cognitive processes of classification.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2013
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: XII, 342
 Publishing info: Oxford : Oxford University Press
 Table of Contents: 1 Introduction
Part I Investing in Quality
2 Realizing Dreams, Proving Thrift: How Product Demonstrations Qualify Financial Objects and Subjects
3 Quality and Temporality in Timber Markets
4 A Good Match: Appraising Worth and Estimating Quality in School Choice
Part II The Quality of Labor
5 Uncertainties Regarding Applicant Quality: The Anonymous Resume Put to the Test
6 Evaluation Practices in Internal Labor Markets: Constructing Engineering Managers’ Qualification in French and German Automotive Firms
Part III The Quality of Aesthetic Goods
7 Account of the Past: Mechanisms of Quality Construction in the Market for Antiques
8 Seeing the World through Common Lenses? The Case of French Contemporary Poetry
Part IV The Morality of Quality
9 Halal and the Moral Construction of Quality: How Religious Norms Turn a Mass Product into a Singularity
10 Qualification under Moral Constraints: The Funeral Purchase as a Problem of Valuation
Part V Consuming Quality
11 From Qualities to Value: Demand Shaping and Market Control in Mass Consumption Markets
12 Fake Qualities: Assessing the Value of Counterfeit Goods
13 Quality Classifications in Competition: Price Formation in the German Wine Market
14 Vigorous Verbs: Conveying the Action of People Producing Qualities
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: ISBN: 978-0-19-967757-3
DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677573.001.0001
 Degree: -



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