Trade Fairs, Markets and Fields

Framing Imagined as Real Communities

Brian Moeran

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This article describes how trade fairs act as a framing mechanism that enables participants to come together for the exchange of goods and services and to perceive themselves as acting in a social field. This way, trade fairs make markets possible. Based on ongoing participant observation at book fairs in Frankfurt, Tokyo and London, the paper discusses central features of fairs in the light of theoretical categories like networks, institutions and cognitions that are commonly employed in economic sociology. In this context, it highlights that participants negotiate the technical/material, social, situational, content/appreciative, and the use value of goods, values which are then equated with a commodity exchange value in the form of price. Trade fairs frame order, but they are also events where the respective field might be reconfigurated. The contingency of personal interaction, the lightness of "talk" and the carnival-like setting of fairs make them a site where disorder might be created that in turn can lead to change of field and market
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHistorical Social Research
    Volume36
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)79-98
    ISSN0172-6404
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • Markets
    • Socioeconomics
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Social Constructionism
    • Trade Shows
    • Business Networks
    • Book Industry

    Cite this

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    abstract = "This article describes how trade fairs act as a framing mechanism that enables participants to come together for the exchange of goods and services and to perceive themselves as acting in a social field. This way, trade fairs make markets possible. Based on ongoing participant observation at book fairs in Frankfurt, Tokyo and London, the paper discusses central features of fairs in the light of theoretical categories like networks, institutions and cognitions that are commonly employed in economic sociology. In this context, it highlights that participants negotiate the technical/material, social, situational, content/appreciative, and the use value of goods, values which are then equated with a commodity exchange value in the form of price. Trade fairs frame order, but they are also events where the respective field might be reconfigurated. The contingency of personal interaction, the lightness of {"}talk{"} and the carnival-like setting of fairs make them a site where disorder might be created that in turn can lead to change of field and market",
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    Trade Fairs, Markets and Fields : Framing Imagined as Real Communities. / Moeran, Brian.

    In: Historical Social Research, Vol. 36, No. 3, 2011, p. 79-98.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    T1 - Trade Fairs, Markets and Fields

    T2 - Framing Imagined as Real Communities

    AU - Moeran, Brian

    PY - 2011

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    AB - This article describes how trade fairs act as a framing mechanism that enables participants to come together for the exchange of goods and services and to perceive themselves as acting in a social field. This way, trade fairs make markets possible. Based on ongoing participant observation at book fairs in Frankfurt, Tokyo and London, the paper discusses central features of fairs in the light of theoretical categories like networks, institutions and cognitions that are commonly employed in economic sociology. In this context, it highlights that participants negotiate the technical/material, social, situational, content/appreciative, and the use value of goods, values which are then equated with a commodity exchange value in the form of price. Trade fairs frame order, but they are also events where the respective field might be reconfigurated. The contingency of personal interaction, the lightness of "talk" and the carnival-like setting of fairs make them a site where disorder might be created that in turn can lead to change of field and market

    KW - Markets

    KW - Socioeconomics

    KW - Economics

    KW - Philosophy

    KW - Social Constructionism

    KW - Trade Shows

    KW - Business Networks

    KW - Book Industry

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    JO - Historical Social Research

    JF - Historical Social Research

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