Market Fashioning

Patrik Aspers*, Petter Bengtsson, Alexander Dobeson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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How do markets come about? This article offers a first systematic analysis of three different ideal types of market fashioning: mutual adjustment, organization, and fields. Although aspects of these are identifiable in most empirical markets, these three ideal types provide analytic tools for students of real markets and marketplaces. After going through this comprehensive literature, it is argued that mutual adjustment, which refers to non-planned processes, is affinity with markets in which products are differentiated, for example, producer markets. Organization refers to process driven by attempts to decide for others and shows affinity with markets for standardized and homogenous products, for example, stock exchanges. Organization also accounts for the making of marketplaces. The broader notion of fields does not refer to any specific process, but accounts for the context of market fashioning and its respective power struggles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory and Society
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)417-438
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic sociology
  • Exchange
  • Field
  • Marketplace
  • Mutual adjustment
  • Organization

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