Historical Social Research

42.1 - Markets and Classifications

HSR Vol. 42 (2017) No. 1: Special Issue: Markets and Classifications

Special Issue - Karoline Krenn (Ed.): Markets and Classifications. Categorizations and Valuations as Social Processes Structuring Markets.

In the last couple of years the discussion on market classifications has received new topicality through the unbounded possibilities offered by digital technologies to track behavioral data. Understanding the social foundations of categories and classification systems is a fundamental problem in sociology. In markets, classifications are present in the variety of goods traded, in quality differentiations and their association to goods, and, also their matching with consumers. From a pure business perspective such marking of market identities is based on objective characteristics. In contrast, it is the aim of social science studies to pay attention to the formation of market categories, to examine the social construction processes underlying these classifications and to demonstrate their contingencies.
In this vein, the contributions to this HSR Special Issue, which come from various theoretical schools such as the new economic sociology or the economics of convention, present recent research across a range of economic settings: financial markets, fashion markets, consumer markets and others. Despite the varieties of markets and national institution settings, essential resemblances show. Among the topics covered: The case of the French impact investment market, arguing for a dual function of judgment devices, demonstrates the close connection between boundary-building and boundary-blurring. A study on Dutch marketing agents reveals that the same actors who promote new classifications have difficulties in implementing these differentiations in their own performances. The example of self-categorizations in the British ethical fashion industry shows that the relevance of classifications is connected to reputation and power. And, analyses into the US-credit market discuss the off-label of classifications and its adverse societal consequences.

Furthermore this HSR Special Issue contains a Mixed Issue with two articles.

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42.1 - Table of Contents & Abstracts

Special Issue – Markets and Classifications. Categorizations and Valuations as Social Processes Structuring Markets.
  • Karoline Krenn: Markets and Classifications – Constructing Market Orders in the Digital Age. An Introduction. [Abstract]
  • Contributions
  • Marion Fourcade & Kieran Healy: Classification Situations: Life-Chances in the Neoliberal Era. [Abstract]
  • Akos Rona-Tas: The Off-Label Use of Consumer Credit Ratings. [Abstract]
  • Sebastian Sevignani: Surveillance, Classification, and Social Inequality in Informational Capitalism: The Relevance of Exploitation in the Context of Markets in Information. [Abstract]
  • Jason Pridmore & Lalu Elias Hämäläinen: Market Segmentation in (In)action: Marketing and ‘Yet to Be Installed’ Role of Big and Social Media Data. [Abstract]
  • Karoline Krenn: Segmented Intermediation. Advice Concepts in German Financial Services. [Abstract]
  • Eve Chiapello & Gaëtan Godefroy: The Dual Function of Judgment Devices. Why does the Plurality of Market Classifications Matter? [Abstract]
  • Sebastian Nagel, Stefanie Hiss, Daniela Woschnack & Bernd Teufel: Between Efficiency and Resilience: The Classification of Companies According to their Sustainability Performance. [Abstract]
  • Simone Schiller-Merkens: Will Green Remain the New Black? Dynamics in the Self-Categorization of Ethical Fashion Designers. [Abstract]
  • Rainer Diaz-Bone: Market Classifications, Quantifications and Quality Conventions in Markets – Perspectives of the Economics of Convention. [Abstract]
  • Anne K. Krüger & Martin Reinhart: Theories of Valuation – Building Blocks for Conceptualizing Valuation Between Practice and Structure. [Abstract]
  • Marion Fourcade & Kieran Healy: Concluding Statement – Categories All the Way Down. [Abstract]
Mixed Issue: Articles
  • Elise Kammerer: Uplift in Schools and the Church: Abolitionist Approaches to Free Black Education in Early National Philadelphia. [Abstract]
  • Ingvill C. Mochmann: Children Born of War – A Decade of International and Interdisciplinary Research[Abstract]