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Constructing QualityThe Classification of Goods in Markets$
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Jens Beckert and Christine Musselin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677573

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677573.001.0001

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Qualification under Moral Constraints: The Funeral Purchase as a Problem of Valuation

Qualification under Moral Constraints: The Funeral Purchase as a Problem of Valuation

Chapter:
(p.223) 10 Qualification under Moral Constraints: The Funeral Purchase as a Problem of Valuation
Source:
Constructing Quality
Author(s):

Dominic Akyel

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677573.003.0010

Sociologists have long been interested in the relationship between moral values and economic decisions. While research has shown that moral values can affect decision-making by constraining economic evaluation, existing studies have neglected the influence of social norms on the process of determining quality. This chapter looks at how social taboos contribute to the exclusion of information from the process of quality construction and how market actors compensate for this. The author uses the German funeral market as an example because it is one in which many strategies of quality construction used in other economic fields are morally restricted. The study shows that legitimacy is an important prerequisite for the attribution and the assessment of quality, and it helps us to better understand the moral preconditions and social constraints to the operation of markets in modern capitalist economies.

Keywords:   economic sociology, funeral market, germany, legitimacy, moral values, quality, social norms, taboo, valuation

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