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Beitrag in Sammelwerk

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


Akyel,  Dominic
Institutioneller Wandel im gegenwärtigen Kapitalismus, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Akyel, D. (2013). Qualification under Moral Constraints: The Funeral Purchase as a Problem of Valuation. In J. Beckert, & C. Musselin (Eds.), Constructing Quality: The Classification of Goods in Markets (pp. 223-244). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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.