Issue 4(1) of Valuation Studies is now out! The issue contains four items:
• In the editorial, the guest editors Ton Otto and Steffen Dalsgaard outline the process through which this selection of articles has travelled. Beginning with a workshop on Values of Dominance and Difference in 2012, they ask how different notions of the relations between society, market and the state can accommodate and deal with different - alternative - practices and systems of valuation. This leads to a framing of the articles by pitting them in a dialogue with Marshall Sahlins’ contribution to the anthropology of value with the aim to explore present limitations and possible future directions of anthropological theorizing about value.
• Simon Foale, Michelle Dyer and Jeff Kinch ask in “The Value of Tropical Diversity in Rural Melanesia” how biodiversity in rural Melanesia in the Pacific is valued differently by the groups involved in its conservation. They observe a stark contrast between on the one hand the transnational conservationists, who ascribe intrinsic value to biodiversity and to species as irreplaceable once they are gone, and on the other hand local subsistence farmers and fishers, who display a pragmatic valuation of the local species that sustain human livelihoods in their environment.
• Bjørn Bertelsen's article “Value Subversions. Gendered Generativity and Production in Rural and Urban Mozambique” deals with an ethnographic case, where market women engage in some form of reciprocal relations with subterranean dwarfish twins to increase their sales. He identifies two different systems of cultural and economic value, none of which is dominant, which he is able to connect by considering value as an outcome and expression of human generativity. This theoretical perspective emphasises value’s dynamic and changeable nature as a result of human action transforming virtual realities into actual ones.
• The article “Carbon Valuation: Alternatives, Alternations and Lateral Measures?" by Steffen Dalsgaard discusses how the valuation of everyday actions and objects in terms of their carbon emissions depends upon the descriptions and measurements of alternative scenarios and promises. These virtual alternatives nonetheless impact equally upon actual lives and actions either as a commensuration and substitution of variants, or as a confrontational comparison of radical difference between actions and non-actions, objects and non-objects.
Valuation Studies is committed to foster valuable conversations in the new transdisciplinary and emerging field of valuation studies. Valuation here denotes any social practice where the value or values of something is established, assessed, negotiated, provoked, maintained, constructed and/or contested. The journal provides a space for the assessment and diffusion of research that is produced at the interface of a variety of approaches from several disciplines, including: sociology, economic sociology, science and technology studies, management and organisation studies, social and cultural anthropology, market studies, institutional perspectives in economics, accounting studies, cultural geography, philosophy, and literary studies. The first issues of Valuation Studies were published in 2013 and all previous issues are available here.
Valuation Studies is a proud member of the open access initiative Libraria that research cooperative alternatives in academic publishing. The publication of Valuation Studies is done with support from The Swedish Research Council. Valuation Studies is recognised as a scholarly publication channel in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers.