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Market Society: Markets and Modern Social Theory




Market Society: Markets and Modern Social Theory

Don Slater, Fran Tonkiss

ISBN: 978-0-745-62027-5 November 2000 Polity 240 Pages

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Market Society provides an original and accessible review of changing conceptions of the market in modern social thought. The book considers markets as social institutions rather than simply formal models, arguing that modern ideas of the market are based on critical notions of social order, social action and social relations. Examining a range of perspectives on the market from across different social science disciplines, Market Society surveys a complex field of ideas in a clear and comprehensive manner. In this way it seeks to extend economic sociology beyond a critique of mainstream economics, and to engage more broadly with social, political and cultural theory.

The book explores historical approaches to the emergence of a modern market society, as well as major approaches to the market within modern economic theory and sociology. It addresses key arguments in economic sociology and anthropology, the relation between markets and states, and critical and cultural theories of market rationality. It concludes with a discussion of markets and culture in a late modern context.

This wide-ranging text will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students in sociology, economic theory and history, politics, social and political theory, anthropology and cultural studies.



1. The Emergence of Market Society.

2. Markets and Economic Order.

3. Rationality, The Individual and Social Order.

4. Markets and Social Structures.

5. States and Markets.

6. Commerce and Culture.

7.The Cultural Turn.

Conclusion: Markets versus Market Society.



"'A lucid, much-needed, wide-ranging review of theoretical accounts of the nature and idea of markets and their effects on modern social order and cultural change." Professor Alan Warde, University of Manchester

"Slater and Tonkiss have written an incredibly stimulating and plainspoken book about the most compelling subject in the world today. Market Society is succinct yet comprehensive, dissolving "the market" into manageable concepts and concrete situations that will provoke both questions and many new ideas." Professor Sharon Zukin, Brooklyn College and City University of New York Graduate School

"Market society: Markets and Modern Social Theory will act as an excellent introduction to this area for a variety of students and their teachers. It is accessible without being simplistic, is well written and covers an impressive amound of ground. It deserves to find a place on many undergraduate and postgraduate courses on work, economic life, consumption as well as wider modules on political economy and social order." British Journal of Sociology

Slater and Tonkiss have produced for social scientists the most useful volume on markets that I have seen. ...The authors avoid polemics but show that markets often provoke moral responses in participants and observers"Stephen Gudeman, The Journal of The Royal Anthropological Institute

A Provides a wide-ranging overview of different conceptions of the market place, from the nineteenth century to the present
A Explores a number of key themes, such as the nature of market society, the relations between markets and states and the impact of new information technologies on markets
A Ideal textbook for students in economic sociology and related disciplines