Culture and Economy in the Making: The Case of eBay

Torben Elgaard-Jensen

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskning


The paper is a situated account of a cultural economic change. The paper argues first that 'cultural economic analysis' must deploy analytical tools that neither reduce economy to culture, nor depend on assumptions of original and pure forms. Secondly, the paper introduces Michel Callon's notions of framing and overflow, which it argues meet these conditions. Thirdly, the paper presents a case study of the Internet auction company eBay. The company is described as a hybrid of economically relevant activities ('commerce') and culturally relevantactivities ('community'). The history of eBay from the founding of the company to its IPO is explored. A series of existentially challenging events (overflows) are identified and the paper analyses how the framings of commerce and community are reworked in response to these challenges. It is concluded that the market successfully developed by eBay is in part a result of a proliferation of the relations between market and community. Thus what to many observers seems to be the perfect example of a pure market is in fact a perfect example of a situated culturalization of economy.
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2005
BegivenhedCulture and Social Change: Disciplinary Exchanges. CRESC 2005 - The University of Manchester, Manchester, Storbritannien
Varighed: 7 jul. 20059 jul. 2005


KonferenceCulture and Social Change
LokationThe University of Manchester

Bibliografisk note

Opstilling: 008 elg
Løbe nr.: 053932


  • Kultur
  • Cases
  • Kulturel interaktion
  • Social forandring
  • eBay