CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS/ABSTRACTS
Market Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Mapping, Theorizing and Impacting Market Action
Deadline Nov 1st 2021. (CALL NOW CLOSED)
We are inviting chapter proposals from a variety of intellectual traditions including sociology, marketing, organisation studies, geography and others for the book volume below (publisher tba). Chapter proposals should be between 2-4 pages in length and detail the proposed content and message of the chapter, whether it is a conceptual or empirical piece, how this chapter fits into the overall book theme, and which of the preliminary sections outlined below it may fit into (please note that section division and content may change according to the overall distribution of chapter proposals).
Deadline for submission of these proposals is Nov 1 2021; authors will be notified of their inclusion in the book volume by Nov 30 2021, with full chapters of between 6,000 and 8,000 words due in March 2022 (shorter chapter contributions may be possible upon agreement). All chapters will go through a peer review process at that point, and we are anticipating the publication of this volume in mid-2023.
Please send all proposals to the lead editor, Prof Susi Geiger, email firstname.lastname@example.org AND to Ms Gemma Watts, email email@example.com It is recommended that you contact the relevant section editor before submitting your proposal.
Prof Susi Geiger (Lead editor), University College Dublin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof Katy Mason, Lancaster University, email@example.com
Prof Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Philip Roscoe, St Andrews University, email@example.com
Dr Annmarie Ryan, University of Limerick, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Stefan Schwarzkopf, Copenhagen Business School, email@example.com
Prof Pascale Trompette, CNRS, Laboratoire PACTE – IEP, firstname.lastname@example.org
This volume will be a landmark positioning of and introduction to the interdisciplinary domain of market studies, a field that has spread across organization studies, management, marketing, sociology, geography and political science in recent years. In a world facing catastrophic crisis – the environment, healthcare, and the discriminatory or exclusive nature of many socio-economic markets – this book presents a social science approach to markets that has begun not only to map, theorize and critique actually existing, but also to explore possibilities for future fairer and more equitable markets, embedded in effective public and private systems of provision and consumption. Bringing together interdisciplinary scholars with complementary perspectives on how markets are built on socio-material processes and devices, this text describes the market studies approach, explains how it relates to different perspectives on the socio-political-economic conditions and organisation of markets, and explores its possibilities and boundaries in mapping and reimagining a marketized society.
Written in an accessible style, the volume gathers a diversity of research driven by the common concern for providing empirical accounts of markets in their multiplicity. It offers crucial insights for researchers across a variety of disciplines interested in the trajectories of how markets are made and shaped by multiple actors over time, as well as for intermediate and graduate students studying how markets connect, overlap and transform to create our economy. Practitioners, policy makers and public speakers working in and around market transformation or market design will also benefit from this book’s unique analysis of markets and markets’ “concerns” (Geiger et al. 2014; Frankel et al. 2019).
Section 1: Mapping the terrain: Market Studies and Neighbouring Disciplines (Section Editor: Stefan Schwarzkopf)
This section presents a brief intellectual history of Market Studies and how it can be situated within the terrain of other disciplines that share its interest in markets. These disciplines include institutionalist theories, consumer culture theory, Actor-Network Theory, Science and Technology Studies, economics, economic and historical sociology, economic history, the sociology of knowledge, organization studies, and economic geography and critical infrastructure studies. Chapters in this section will introduce the distinct ontological and epistemological stance taken in Market Studies, and reflect on what makes this approach particularly useful in mapping so-called ‘moralized markets’ (Schiller-Merkens and Balsiger, 2019), and markets that are otherwise contested by a variety of different actors. Such markets typically include those that are related to the ‘grand challenges’ of health, social equality, food security, energy and transport, but also more mundane markets for goods and services (Geiger, 2021; Neyland et al., 2019). The section particularly welcomes contributions that link Market Studies as a paradigm to other disciplinary ways of studying market arrangements and market actors. This may include, but is certainly not limited to the market / marketing systems approach from Macromarketing (Layton, 2019) and from CCT-influenced studies (Giesler and Fischer, 2017), as well as studies of market dispositives and dispositions known from sociological approaches associated with Bourdieu and Foucault (Abildgaard and Jørgensen, 2021; Dubuisson-Quellier, Gojard and Plessz, 2019). Hence, authors in this section might wish to particularly reflect on how to overcome the epistemological and ontological separation within Market Studies between approaches that focus on ‘market matters’ and ‘market-things’ on the one hand, and approaches that look for ‘the explanation of market choices in classical or innovative “backstage” mechanisms, such as cultural-political-social constructs or theoretical frameworks’ (Cochoy, 2007: 110). By explicating the similarities and differences in the various paradigmatic approaches to the study of markets, chapters in this section will enable readers to appreciate the unique intellectual take of Market Studies, but also see the many fruitful anchorage points with neighbouring disciplines.
Section 2: Performative and post-performative approaches to studying markets (Section Editor: Neil Pollock)
In this section, we reflect on and develop what has become generally known as the ‘performativity’ program. Drawing on the influential work of Callon on economic theory and MacKenzie’s work on finance, the performativity programme puts forward the idea that theory is not simply descriptive of the world but it can enact the phenomenon in its attempts to describe it. In other words, the theory enacts the ‘framing’ processes that allow the operation of the same market activities described in the research. The performativity programme offers advantages in the study of markets. Markets, as conceived of by economists, appear as entirely ‘abstract spaces’ (Callon & Muniesa 2005), making it difficult for the researcher to know what to study and to look at/for. The performativity programme, by contrast, puts knowledge, practices and artefacts at the centre of its analytical lens. However, more recent work has shown that if the performativity programme is to continue to be useful it will need to be extended. As this section maps out, the last couple of years have seen a growing body of empirical analysis and related conceptual discussion that point to the gradual extension of the performativity programme, raising the question about its usefulness when applied beyond the areas in which it was first developed. Firstly, while there has been a recent upsurge in interest in the so-called economic performation of the economy, many of the market actors studied in this book are not economists, but they are nonetheless still highly influential in the shaping of markets. In other words, early contributors made little distinction between market actors that produce theories and models ‘on’ markets and those that design various tools and devices ‘in’ markets. We argue that this group deserves more attention than they have received to date. Secondly, and as Peter Miller (2008) has pointed out, one danger of this interest in the economic performation of the economy is the assumption that all modes of ordering are a direct derivative of economics. This may underplay other forms of performativity, perhaps those that stem from other kinds of business knowledge, practice and artifacts which we might need to consider. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, another danger is that the performativity template could (unintentionally) convey the impression of a theory or model able to drive change (Pollock & Williams, 2016). Despite Callon’s (1998) foregrounding of the study of ‘overflows’ and MacKenzie’s (2009) deployment of the notion of ‘innofusion’, one can still find a portrayal of theory doing things to people. But, in terms of the processes of market shaping described in this book, this section will demonstrate that we are dealing with more complicated forms of influence than, for example, the case of building new markets around particular financial and economic theories. Rather, this book argues that it is necessary to study the effects of theory as nonlinear (D’Adderio et al, 2019) and with different degrees of performative outcomes (D’Adderio & Pollock 2014).
Section 3: The secret life of methods (Section Editor: Katy Mason)
This section reflects on the toolkit that market studies researchers typically adopt, presenting a breadth of methods that are useful in order to identify and map markets and their socio-material arrangements. We engage in questions around all stages of the research process, including the market studies researcher’s relationship with research participants, the design and deployment of an empirical toolkit, and making sense of market data. In doing so, we pay particular attention to the histories, socio-material performances, and digitalisation of markets and the methods that may be employed to study them, including a reflection on the ethics of studying these market practices and collective performances.
Importantly, as Savage (2013, p.5) explains,
“Rather than methods being seen as rather dull, a required training that new cohorts of social researchers have to undergo, they can now be seen as a fascinating object of inquiry. And, rather than differentiating between theory and methods, in which the latter are deemed to be tools to investigate theoretical questions which are held to be prior to and independent of methodological considerations, methods can thereby be identified as the very stuff of social life.”
Thus, an important characteristic of this section of the book, will be its ability to go beyond considering the methodological tools that are at hand to market studies scholars and additionally generate a reflective dialectic between those using a variety of methods such as digital and aesthetic tools such as social networking sites, audit processes, devices to secure ‘transparency’, algorithms for financial transactions, surveys, maps, interviews, databases and classifications, to explore how these tools are put to use to instantiate certain kinds of social relationships by researchers. Thus, we will be able to question how our methods enable market studies researchers to begin to ‘making up’ society through their performation (c.f. Hayles, 2009; MacKenzie and Vurdubakis, 2011). Our aim here is to open-up the debate about the relationship between theory, culture, and method for contemporary academic researchers, which has potentially dramatic implications for our understanding of contemporary research expertise.
In adopting this approach, this section also brings into sharp relief the ‘becoming’ of market studies researchers as actors in the markets they study. We argue that by taking an interest in the disciplinary and practical crossroads that are markets, market studies researchers do ‘edge work’ (cf. Esteves, 2021). Often, this also means that by studying markets’ practices, researchers themselves become ‘concerned’ in market change, moving from describing processes of economic organising to being collectively engaged in their transformation.
Section 4: Markets – their designs and their misfires (Section editor: Susi Geiger)
Market studies is based on the idea that markets are organised. This organisation is always at least partly a result of deliberate shaping or design efforts by market actors. However, market organisations or ‘designs’, in whichever way these materialise, also need to be maintained. Inspired by developments at the intersection between science and technology studies and economic sociology, recent scholarship has made the efforts required in maintaining markets its object of study. It is work that is starting to trace the aesthetic labour of market designers and ‘maintainers’, those who made their work to put markets to work as solutions for a vast range of clients and private and collective problems (Frankel et al., 2019; Neyland et al. 2019): markets for the generation of sustainable electricity (Pallesen, 2016) and even loving relationships (Roscoe and Chillas, 2014). This section introduces studies that pay attention to the work of market designers. At the same time, studies have shown how market overflows, or ‘misfires’ (Bamford & MacKenzie 2018; Callon 2010), far from ugly deviations from an ideal or ideally ‘designed’ market, provide opportunity for market actors to challenge and reorganize markets (Geiger and Gross, 2018, Geiger 2021, Ossandón and Ureta 2019, Neyland et al 2019b). We thus extend our questioning to how market imperfections can offer a powerful means of market governance (Roscoe and Willman, forthcoming) and re-organization. Relatedly, with the recent expansion of market design in policy making and of platforms in the economy more generally, practitioners are also beginning to act upon markets as if they were objects of engineering, design, and organization (Frankel et al 2019), akin to and often in parallel with other organizational efforts. This section will thus re-assess the status of the relationship between organization(s) and markets as reflected in practitioners’ attempts to transpose organizational tools from one space to another.
Section 5: Markets in motion: Places and Spaces (Section Editor: Pascale Trompette)
The market studies programme has been characterised by systematic attention to the ‘situatedness’ and the ‘sitedness’ of markets: the specific historical, spatial, cultural and power-mediated contexts that enable market actors to construct and contest the meaning of their actions. Markets exist in concrete situations, zones and sites, reflect changing conceptual and political language, and result in exclusions and inclusions. This section will consider the role of space, place and history in the shaping of actually existing markets. Building on the section on performativity, this section could consider not only the market-building work of political, economic and managerial concepts (i.e. how markets are performed) but also the production of space and history: for example of inclusions and exclusions, of familiarities and strangers, the direction and destruction of borders (i.e. what markets perform).
A perspective on “markets in motion” (Berndt and Boeker, 2010) is attentive to the routes of circulation linked to market trade, the physical movement of goods and their representations (Caliskan, 2010), the materiality (or immateriality) of transactions in process (Callon, 2017), the spatiality and temporalities of trading spaces, the political distribution of capacities on the concentration and control of flows, etc., Such ideas remind us of the rich monographs of historians (Chagny et al., 2015; Fontaine, 2008) and anthropologists – i.e. Tsing’s mushrooms (2015), Guyer’s African currency commodities (2004), Brooks’ second-hand clothes (2015) – which describe composite chains of exchange (market and non market) and unravel the complex mechanics of valuation across heterogeneous orders of value (Zelizer, 2011). These themes also recall the numerous STS works offering fruitful insight into the infrastructure of technological zones (Barry, 2001), the classification of goods (Beckert and Musselin, 2013), the fabric of commensurability (MacKenzie, 2009; Espeland, 2001), in relation to transactions spanning/bridging various locations, scales and institutional spaces. By tracing the geopolitics of international flows – of capital (Christophers, 2013) or energy resources, finance and arms export (Mitchell, 2011) – recent works take up the issue of political power and democracy in a globalized world.
Section 6: Valuing and Evaluation (Section Editor: Philip Roscoe)
This section explores the insights and possibilities offered by focusing scholarly attention on the practices and devices of valuation in markets. Valuation is central to the organization of markets through the practices and devices used to order, categorize and frame various entities: objects, action, people, and places. The section invokes a pragmatist approach to valuation (Antal et al. 2015; Beckert & Aspers, 2011; Boltanski & Thévenot, 2006; Helgesson & Muniesa 2013) that sees value as situated, enacted and emergent, and has allowed social scientists to move beyond the Parsonian division of economic and sociological forms of reasoning to consider the combination and articulation of different values in economic action.
An important tradition of market studies has paid particular attention to devising practices: what gets quantified, calculated, judged and valued by whom and for what purposes, through the interaction of practices, processes and technologies. Such approaches have uncovered processes of market extension to new spheres – “marketization” and “economization processes”- i.e. the way in which practice of reasoning, measurement, judgement, qualification etc., are framed in relation to historically and contextually variable perspectives.
In this vein, scholarly work has recently become attuned to the interconnectedness of valuation, politics and power. Processes of ‘assetization’, for example, employ specific modalities of valuation to extract long term profit (Birch & Muniesa, 2020); practices of valuation are implicit in colonial and neo-colonial expansion (Gilbert, 2020; novel modes of valuation encompass the spread of economizing practices into new domains, and arbitrate what we know and choose not to know (Dussauge et al. 2015). At the same time, valuation practices may be heterodox, a site for unexpected resistance (e.g. Delvenne, 2021).
Radical transformations in the organization of markets (mobile technology and internet platforms, for example) have opened up new opportunities for the study of valuation in the economy. A sociological approach to valuation practices also has much to offer topics that are historically distant or geographically apart. This section aims to build on existing work and open up new directions in our understanding of valuation practices, processes and techniques in markets. We welcome contributions on valuation practices in markets, particularly with a view to ascertaining new valuation practices, new ways of knowing and calculating, and new understandings of power, antagonism and resistance.
Section 7: Future Markets (Section Editor: Annmarie Ryan)
This section has two key aims. One, to reflect on how a market studies approach can help scholars and practitioners tackle some of the grand challenges that humankind is facing. Two, to summarize emerging themes and directions for the future of market studies. Current challenges we face, including climate catastrophe, healthcare crises, or economic turbulences continue to have many re-ordering effects in how markets are configured. Influential scholars have recently started to explore this research area, including (among other writers), Naomi Klein on disaster capitalism, Andreas Malm on capitalism and climate change, and Latour et al. on capitalism and the apocalypse. The section reflects on how a market studies approach can help scholars and practitioners critically reflect on ‘markets at the end of the world’, that is markets that are dependent on disaster, catastrophe or crisis. For example, economic actors increasingly turn environmental crises into new markets (e.g. “green finance”). How do market actors adapt to disasters? How are they able to change their profit strategies to benefit from them? Further, by offering both an analysis of the mechanisms at play in markets and linking these mechanisms to broader institutional contexts, we argue that market studies is ideally placed to engage scholars, practitioners and policy makers into debates about how market problems may be tackled to arrive at more just, equitable and sustainable markets.
To conclude this section summarizes emerging themes, directions for the future of market studies, and new paths of advanced theories. It provides directions to broaden the interdisciplinary approaches undertaken by scholars. We consider what room for development may be identified from the market studies programme laid out in this book volume? What empirical areas can be pointed out as holding on-going appeal? Which new empirical topics stand out as promising for further inquiry?
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