Using Breach Experiments to Explore Price Setting in Everyday Economic Locations

  • Daniel Neyland Goldsmiths
  • Marta Gasparin School of Business, University of Leicester
  • Lucia Siu


This paper draws inspiration from the breach experiments of Garfinkel as a basis for exploring the naturally occurring order of price setting in locations without an institutionalised single price rule. We organised two experiments (at a flea market in Copenhagen and boot sale in Oxford) to study price setting. The findings suggest that members of price setting interactions accountably, demonstrably and reflexively accomplish a regularly repeated order to price setting through constitutive expectancies and the congruence of relevances that are made available within interactions. In conclusion we suggest that our experiments proved to have analytic utility in bringing gently structured comparisons to the fore. The experiments provided us with the opportunity to engage with the basis for price setting in different everyday economic locations and we felt that this was the opening to a mode of research that has future potential.


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Author Biographies

Daniel Neyland, Goldsmiths

Daniel Neyland is Professor at Goldsmiths Sociology Department. His research engages with issues of governance, accountability and ethics in forms of science, technology and organisation. Drawing on ideas from ethnomethodology, science and technology studies (in particular forms of radical and reflexive scepticism, constructivism, actor–network theory and the recent science and technology studies turn to markets and other forms of organising), his research is ethnographic in orientation. In particular he is interested in the question of how entities (objects, values, relationships, processes and also people) become of the world.

Marta Gasparin, School of Business, University of Leicester

Marta Gasparin is a lecturer in innovation and design management at the University of Leicester. Her research explores how design and innovation emerges, how value is created, and the role of actors (objects, managers, designers) in the innovation and design process. She draws on ideas from science and technology studies and actor–network theory. She is interested in design theory and the epistemological dimension of innovation, in particular the relation between design and art, design and aesthetics, design and epistemology, design and technology.

Lucia Siu

Lucia Siu was the co-editor of Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics. Her PhD thesis was on the commodity futures markets of China, and her MSc dissertation was on Hong Kong’s dotcom bubble. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh.

How to Cite
Neyland, Daniel, Marta Gasparin, and Lucia Siu. 2019. “Using Breach Experiments to Explore Price Setting in Everyday Economic Locations”. Valuation Studies 6 (1), 5-30.