While certain contested goods do manage to make their way to market, others have moved less far in this direction and others seem permanently unable to do so. Moral…
While certain contested goods do manage to make their way to market, others have moved less far in this direction and others seem permanently unable to do so. Moral contestation promotes, holds back or blocks the emergence of contested markets. This chapter examines the conditions that make the operation of these markets possible, and those that block their appearance. From a comparison between two cases (organs for transplantation and gambling), the authors focus attention on the one hand on those devices that make transactions possible, and on the other, on the “vulnerable populations” that these devices are intended to protect, either from or by the market.
Moral struggles in and around markets abound in contemporary societies where markets have become the dominant form of economic coordination. Reviewing research on morality and markets across disciplinary boundaries, this introductory essay suggests that a moral turn can currently be observed in scholarship, and draws a direct connection to recent developments in the sociology of morality. The authors introduce the chapters in the present volume “The Contested Moralities of Markets.” In doing so, the authors distinguish three types of moral struggles in and around markets: struggles around morally contested markets where the exchange of certain goods on markets is contested; struggles within organizations that are related to an organization’s embeddedness in complex institutional environments with competing logics and orders of worth; and moral struggles in markets where moral justifications are mobilized by a variety of field members who act as moral entrepreneurs in their striving for moralizing the economy. Finally, the authors highlight three properties of moral struggles in contemporary markets: They (1) arise over different objects, (2) constitute political struggles, and (3) are related to two broader social processes: market moralization and market expansion. The introduction concludes by discussing some of the theoretical approaches that allow particular insights into struggles over morality in markets. Collectively, the contributions in this volume advance our current understanding of the contested moralities of markets by highlighting the sources, processes, and outcomes of moral struggles in and around markets, both through tracing the creation, reproduction, and change of underlying moral orders and through reflecting the status and power differentials, alliances, and political strategies as well as the general cultural, social, and political contexts in which the struggles unfold.
This short text argues that a single moral – the notion’s etymology refers to the mores of a group or a society – must not be contested, but as soon as more than one morality is in play, there is a great chance that at least one or both are contested. It is also argued that man is moral by definition. Markets come, by definition, with struggles, but not all struggles in markets are moral. Most struggles in markets are economic, and most markets are not contested. Future research in the field of moral struggles could benefit from clearer distinctions of types of struggle.