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.
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.
The purpose of this paper is to identify both the inspiration sources used by fast fashion designers and ways the designers sort information from the sources during the…
The purpose of this paper is to identify both the inspiration sources used by fast fashion designers and ways the designers sort information from the sources during the product development process.
This is a qualitative study, drawing on semi-structured interviews conducted with the members of the in-house design teams of three Australian fast fashion companies.
Australian fast fashion designers rely on a combination of trend data, sales data, product analysis, and travel for design development ideas. The designers then use the consensus and embodiment methods to interpret and synthesise information from those inspiration sources.
The empirical data used in the analysis were limited by interviewing fashion designers within only three Australian companies.
This research augments knowledge of fast fashion product development, in particular designers’ methods and approaches to product design within a volatile and competitive market.
The purpose of this paper is to explore how entrepreneurs, banks, the government, and alternative lending respond to finance gaps for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)…
The purpose of this paper is to explore how entrepreneurs, banks, the government, and alternative lending respond to finance gaps for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This paper considers valuation as a sociological construct where actors use different calculative devices, forming an assemblage that partly positions valuation of entrepreneurial finance as a contested and socially constructed process.
Drawing on the concept of “calculative devices”, the study articulates discursive institutional practices embedded within SME lending. This case study draws on analyses of 30 semi-structured interviews and archival data, government reports, and newspaper articles.
The study identified three triggers in Rwanda that were rooted in the informal and unincorporated nature of the SME governance structure, the lack of capacity for SME owners to manage their own projects, and normalising language around collateral requirements that marginalised the realities of SMEs, contributing to stagnation for SME finance.
The research provides direction for understanding how calculative devices create new forms of valuation of entrepreneurship in developing countries, particularly when human and non-human actors come together in an assemblage. The study calls for further research to demonstrate the embedded power of valuation practices and the performance of value in entrepreneurial finance.
The study brings new findings to the market creation literature by extending the notion of distributive calculative agency to SME finance. The study mobilises theory to interpret how discursive institutional practices are embedded within a country’s finance infrastructure, yielding unintended consequences for SME growth.