The ‘s’ in Markets: Mundane Market Concepts and How to Know a (Strawberry) Market

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This paper argues that concepts of markets as empirical objects are central to singling out particular markets as objects of analysis, and thus that market studies need to systematically investigate market concepts as part of advancing the agenda of adding a plural 's' and making particular markets object of inquiry. This argument is made by revisiting the strawberry market in Sologne, France as analyzed by M. Callon and M.-F. Garcia-Parpet, respectively. Two decades have passed since the publishing of The Laws of the Market, and considering its great impact, this anniversary gives occasion for revisiting the central place the particular market for strawberries is given in the argument and discussing the concepts developed by Callon with a view to how Garcia-Parpet comes to identify a particular market. This revisit shows that although Callon in part distracts from a systematic attention to concepts of market as an empirical object of inquiry, he also offers distinctions valuable for better understanding concepts of markets. It also shows that, following one part of Callon's argument, we should not expect to find concrete markets and that attention to market concepts thus becomes even more important.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)458-475
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Identification
  • Markets
  • Economics
  • Concepts
  • Calculation

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