Introduction: Making Things Valuable

Martin Kornberger, Lise Justesen, Anders Koed Madsen, Jan Mouritsen

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


The introduction offers a critique of the debate between economic sociologists, anthropologists of markets, and economists on valuation, and suggests understanding valuation as an activity. This introduction investigates the practices, processes, and technologies through which things are made valuable. Empirically, this calls for a focus on rankings, ratings, reviews, standards, classifications, categorizations, and myriad other practices and devices that calculate, make commensurable, and evaluate objects. The authors outline the contours of the valuation debate by focusing on two distinct arguments, one involving an economics reading of value that collapses the plurality of values into one principle—that of utility; and one comprising an economic sociology reading that argues for distinct orders of worth that maintain the plurality of intersecting values. The introduction explains how this volume departs from this discussion by shifting the focus onto the valuation devices and practices that constitute values in the first place.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaking Things Valuable
Editors Martin Kornberger, Lise Justesen, Jan Mouritsen, Anders Koed Madsen
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Pages1 - 17
ISBN (Print)9780198712282
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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