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Market, Morality and (Just) Price: The Case of the Recycling Economy in Turkey

The Politics and Ethics of the Just Price

ISBN: 978-1-78743-574-2, eISBN: 978-1-78743-573-5

Publication date: 19 June 2019


By drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted amongst waste-pickers and recycling traders in the waste paper, plastic and scrap metal sectors, and engaging with literature from economic anthropology and history, as well as archival sources, this paper documents changing perceptions of just price, morality and fairness in the Turkish recycling market. The paper suggests that multiple markets imply multiple prices, which are contingent and contested. When dealing with price mechanisms largely outside their control, actors tend to associate a fair price with the going market price, rather than factors such as state regulation. Approaches to morality and assessments of fairness become more ambiguous when prices are mediated by actors’ own practices. These range from gift relations to paternalism, envy and deception.




The author is grateful to Peter Luetchford and two anonymous reviewers for insightful comments which helped to improve this article and Giovanni Orlando for excellent editorial guidance. The research was funded by an ORSAS Award (2005–2008) granted by the HEFCE.


Dinler, D.Ş. (2019), "Market, Morality and (Just) Price: The Case of the Recycling Economy in Turkey", The Politics and Ethics of the Just Price (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 39), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 27-47.



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