Aspers - Order in Markets

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✁ Orderly Fashion

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Orderly Fashion
A SO CIO LOGY OF MARKETS

Patrik Aspers

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS PRINCETON AND OXFORD

Copyright © 2010 by Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 6 Oxford Street, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1TW press.princeton.edu All Rights Reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Aspers, Patrik, 1970– Orderly fashion : a sociology of markets / Patrik Aspers. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-691-14157-2 (hbk. : alk. paper) 1. Clothing trade—Social aspects. 2. Fashion merchandising—Social aspects. 3. Industrial sociology. I. Title. HD9940.A2A87 2010 306.3'4—dc22 2009041616 British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available This book has been composed in Sabon Printed on acid-free paper. ∞ Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1



For Caroline

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Contents

Preface Introduction The Aims of the Book Order Outline of the Book Chapter 1 Garment Sellers in Consumer Markets Identity Market Differentiation Types of Sellers Competition and Cooperation Splitting and Fusing Markets Summary Chapter 2 Affordable Fashion Identities of Branded Garment Retailers Retailers’ Customers Consumption and Identity Price and Garments Fashion Fashion and Power Identity Management The Culture of the Market Status Order Summary Chapter 3 Entrenching Identities Performance Control Relations of Identities Summary Chapter 4 Branded Garment Retailers in the Production Market Design and Fashion Finding Manufacturers Competition among Retailers

ix 1 4 5 9 11 12 13 19 26 31 33 34 35 40 43 46 49 54 55 57 58 60 62 63 89 91 94 95 102 112

viii

CONTENTS

The Product Retailers’ Identities Summary Chapter 5 Manufacturing Garments in the Global Market The Industry from the Perspective of the Manufacturers The Production Process Identity Differentiation and Strategies Price and Global Competition The Market Culture Order Out of Standard Summary Chapter 6 Branded Garment Retailers in the Investment Market Approaching Financial Markets Retailers’ Identities in Investor Markets The Stock Market and Its Value Trading Fashion Stocks Evaluation of Stocks Economic Evaluation Summary Chapter 7 Markets as Partial Orders Discussion of the Study Partial Orders Appendix I Empirical Material and Methods Appendix II Garment Trade Statistics Appendix III The Garment Industry Appendix IV Economic Sociology Appendix V Fashion Theory and Research Notes References Index

117 123 123 125 126 131 136 138 142 144 145 147 148 149 150 155 156 158 162 165 165 171 175 181 185 191 195 201 213 235

Preface

This book approaches the global fashion industry with a focus on markets. Its perspective is that of economic sociology and it addresses the question of order. The study is substantially based on observations and interviews, though I do not refer to the names of firms or persons. This is done not only to maintain the anonymity of those who have contributed to the research project, but also, and above all, to stress the general and theoretical points and to facilitate application of the approach in other studies. Large bodies of literature, such as those on business economics, business organization, and industrial economics, all of which have made important contributions to our understanding of the real economy, are acknowledged, but not discussed at any length. Martin Heidegger, in “Schöpferische Landschaft: Warum bleiben wir in der Provinz?”, remarks that philosophizing is like being in a blizzard. He also celebrates Einsamkeit [solitude] as a work strategy. Though I fully agree that scientific work, to be successful, must to some extent be characterized by Einsamkeit, one should not always be alone. Two relational thinkers, Pierre Bourdieu...
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