The Contentiousness of Markets: Politics, Social Movements, and Institutional Change in Markets

Posted: 14 Oct 2010

Date Written: August 2010

Abstract

While much of economic sociology focuses on the stabilizing aspects of markets, the social movement perspective emphasizes the role that contentiousness plays in bringing institutional change and innovation to markets. Markets are inherently political, both because of their ties to the regulatory functions of the state and because markets are contested by actors who are dissatisfied with market outcomes and who use the market as a platform for social change. Research in this area focuses on the pathways to market change pursued by social movements, including direct challenges to corporations, the institutionalization of systems of private regulation, and the creation of new market categories through institutional entrepreneurship. Much contentiousness, while initially disruptive, works within the market system by producing innovation and restraining capitalism from destroying the resources it depends on for survival.

Suggested Citation

King, Brayden and Pearce, Nicholas, The Contentiousness of Markets: Politics, Social Movements, and Institutional Change in Markets (August 2010). Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 36, pp. 249-267, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1691320 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.012809.102606

Brayden King (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Nicholas Pearce

Northwestern University - Department of Management & Organizations ( email )

Evanston, IL
United States

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