Market Society

History, Theory, Practice

Market Society

An exploration of the social structures at the heart of capitalist economies from feudal England through to the modern day.

Rival Views of Market Society and Other Recent Essays

Rival Views of Market Society and Other Recent Essays

Since the mid-twentieth century Albert O. Hirschman has been known for his innovative, lucid, and brilliantly argued contributions to economics, the history of ideas, and the social sciences. Two central and already widely admired essays in this collection explore new territory. The title essay distinguishes among four very different conceptions of the characteristics and dynamics of capitalist societies. A related plea for embracing complexity is made in "Against Parsimony," a wide-ranging critique of traditional economic models. In other writings Hirschman revisits his own views on economic development, the concept of interest, and the roles of "exit" and "voice" in economic and social systems. This volume reaffirms the powerful originality and enduring value of Hirschman's work.

Market Society

Markets and Modern Social Theory

Market Society

Market Society provides an original and accessible review of changing conceptions of the market in modern social thought. The book considers markets as social institutions rather than simply formal models, arguing that modern ideas of the market are based on critical notions of social order, social action and social relations. Examining a range of perspectives on the market from across different social science disciplines, Market Society surveys a complex field of ideas in a clear and comprehensive manner. In this way it seeks to extend economic sociology beyond a critique of mainstream economics, and to engage more broadly with social, political and cultural theory. The book explores historical approaches to the emergence of a modern market society, as well as major approaches to the market within modern economic theory and sociology. It addresses key arguments in economic sociology and anthropology, the relation between markets and states, and critical and cultural theories of market rationality. It concludes with a discussion of markets and culture in a late modern context. This wide-ranging text will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students in sociology, economic theory and history, politics, social and political theory, anthropology and cultural studies.

Remaking Market Society

A Critique of Social Theory and Political Economy in Neoliberal Times

Remaking Market Society

Neoliberalism has been one of the most hotly contested themes in academic and political debate over the last 30 years. Given the global and persistent influence of neoliberal ideas on contemporary styles of governance, social-service provision, and public policy, this intensive interest is understandable. At the same time, the use of the term has become loose, vague, and over-extended, particularly in the extensive critical literature. Rather than engage in further critique, or in the reconstruction of the history of neoliberalism, this volume seeks to bring analytical clarity to the ongoing debate. Drawing inspiration from the work of the Hungarian economic historian, Karl Polanyi, Remaking Market Society combines critique, original formulations, and case studies to form an analytical framework that identifies the key instruments of neoliberal governance. These include privatization, marketization, and liberalization. The case studies examine the development of neoliberal instruments (reform of the British civil service); their refinement (reform of higher education in England and Wales); and their dissemination across national borders (EU integration policies). Rather than look back nostalgically on the post-war welfare-state settlement, in the final chapter the authors ask why the coalitions that supported that settlement broke down in the face of the neoliberal reform movement. This highly original work offers a distinctive transdisciplinary approach to political economy, and therefore is an important read for students and academics who are interested in political economy as well as social theory and political philosophy.

Language and the Market Society

Critical Reflections on Discourse and Dominance

Language and the Market Society

In education, politics and religion, there are strong indications that discourse is becoming marketized. Around the world, government ministries have re-defined themselves as "service providers," universities draw up "market-driven" curricula, job seekers are asked to "package themselves" more effectively, and there are advertising agencies specialising in "the Christian marketplace." And it is not only word choice that is effected; higher-level linguistic patterns, such as genres and discursive practices (witness, for example, the text and talk connected with performance measurement and public relations), are also drawn into the orbit of market forces. Through an intricate dialectic, such patterns of linguistic choices, in turn, reinforce the social structures that shape them, further consolidating the marketization process. In a related development, language within the business domain itself is increasingly shaped by strategic planning and control, for example in branding, message design, and the promulgation of management buzzwords. Marketization thus emerges as a globally unfolding process in which language holds a key position as both cause and effect, and as both subject and object. The book examines these phenomena from a linguistic and critical perspective, drawing on critical discourse analysis, sociological treatises of market society, and critical management studies.

Modernism and the Culture of Market Society

Modernism and the Culture of Market Society

Many critics argue that the modernist avant-garde were always in opposition to the commercial values of market-driven society. For John Xiros Cooper, the avant-garde bears a more complex relation to capitalist culture than previously acknowledged. He argues that in their personal relationships, gender roles and sexual contacts, the modernist avant-garde epitomised the impact of capitalism on everyday life. Cooper shows how the new social, cultural and economic practices aimed to defend cultural values in a commercial age, but, in this task, modernism became the subject of a profound historical irony. Its own characterising techniques, styles and experiments, deployed to resist the new nihilism of the capitalist market, eventually became the preferred cultural style of the very market culture which the first modernists opposed. In this broad-ranging 2004 study John Xiros Cooper explores this provocative theme across a wide range of Modernist authors, including Joyce, Eliot, Stein and Barnes.

The Rise of Market Society in England, 1066-1800

The Rise of Market Society in England, 1066-1800

Focusing on England, this study reconstructs the centuries-long process of commercialization that gave birth to the modern market society. It shows how certain types of markets (e.g. those for real estate, labor, capital, and culture) came into being, and how the social relations mediated by markets were formed. The book deals with the creation of institutions like the Bank of England, the Stock Exchange, and Lloyd's of London, as well as the way the English dealt with the uncertainty and the risks involved in market transactions. Christiane Eisenberg shows that the creation of a market society and modern capitalism in England occurred under circumstances that were utterly different from those on the European continent. In addition, she demonstrates that as a process, the commercialization of business, society, and culture in England did not lead directly to an industrial society, as has previously been suggested, but rather to a service economy.

Repatriating Polanyi

Market Society in the Visegrad States

Repatriating Polanyi

Karl Polanyi’s “substantivist” critique of market society has renewed topicality in the era of neoliberal globalization. Polanyi (1886–1964) is popular among critical theorists and radical political economists, but also with ecological activists, anti-globalization campaigners and all who sense that ongoing financial turmoil is symptomatic of a deeper crisis threatening the compatibility of capitalism and democracy. The author reclaims the polymath Karl Polanyi for contemporary anthropology, especially economic anthropology. The book furthermore takes his ideas back to Central Europe, where he grew up. The Polanyian approach is applied to the communist economy, with particular reference to the “market socialist” economy which evolved under János Kádár in Hungary. The same lens is used to investigate the consequences of the demise of communist power since 1990, primarily on the basis of ethnographic investigations in Hungary and South-East Poland. Stretching the discussion on Polanyi’s great transformation – for which there is considerable international interest – in the context of neoliberalization onto the concept of Eurasia, and then bringing this into conversation with the rise of neo-nationalism in Hungary and Poland and beyond as the form that the great transformation is currently taking in the region, relates Hann’s work powerfully to the current political turbulence.

The Soul's Economy

Market Society and Selfhood in American Thought, 1820-1920

The Soul's Economy

Sklansky traces a shift in American social thought as the gradual demise of the household economy rendered proprietary independence an increasingly embattled ideal. Amid the widening class divide, nineteenth-century social theorists devised a new science of American society that reconceived freedom in terms of psychic self-expression instead of economic self-interest, and they redefined democracy in terms of cultural kinship rather than social compact.