Valuation Studies <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Valuation Studies</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> sets out to offer an academic platform for research and debate on the problem of valuation. Valuation indeed stands as a crucial </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">problem</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for the social sciences and the humanities today, in more than one way. Understanding the tensions, determinants, contexts and effects of valuation practices appears indeed as a decisive requirement for the understanding of how our world is constructed, transformed or fractured. An interdisciplinary approach is required in order to investigate the technical cultures, the political imaginaries, the historical processes, the methodological problems and the institutional settings that shape the ways in which things are valued, and to identify relevant shifts, controversies and struggles. Sociological, anthropological, cultural, political, semiotic, historiographic, legal, institutional, critical, organisational approaches to the study of valuation phenomena are needed in order to establish tractable, actionable interdisciplinary knowledge on valuation as a problem.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Submissions to </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Valuation Studies</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> respond to broad calls for contributions curated by the journal’s editorial board. This is to ensure focus and debate, while offering the space to address each call’s purpose from many possible angles and in reference to various forms of evidence and demonstration.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The journal assesses incoming manuscripts using double-blind peer review involving at least two reviewers. Accepted manuscripts are published as PDFs with full open access and authors retain the copyright to their work.</span></p> <p><a title="Valuation Studies" href="">Current issue </a>| <a title="Valuation Studies" href="">View Journal</a></p> Linköping University Electronic Press en-US Valuation Studies 2001-5992 <p>Authors retain the copyright to their contributions. Linköping University Electronic Press publishes under Creative Commons licence CC-BY-NC, which allows users to distribute the work and to re-work it but not for any commercial purposes, without the author's permission.</p> Emotions and Valuations: Notre-Dame de Paris on Fire as a Case Study for Axiological Sociology <p>The emotional reactions aroused by the fire that partly destroyed Notre-Dame de Paris in April 2019 can be analyzed as “valuations” in the light of the pragmatic sociology of values, since they provide empirically grounded material allowing for the description and modeling of the actual implementations and effects of valuations. After a quick summary of the recent history of the pragmatic turn in sociology as related to the sociology of valuation, and a short reflection on the relationship between emotions and values, the fire of Notre-Dame de Paris is used as a case study in the light of “axiological sociology”, a model built on value judgments observed in various contexts, including the display of emotions. This article intends to demonstrate both empirically and theoretically how important it is for the social sciences to consider values as an autonomous issue, deserving to be treated as “axiological facts”, as any other kind of social fact.</p> Nathalie Heinich Copyright (c) 2021 Nathalie Heinich 2021-04-29 2021-04-29 8 1 67 83 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2021.8.1.67-83 Editorial Note: A Note on Transitions Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Copyright (c) 2021 Claes-Fredrik Helgesson 2021-04-29 2021-04-29 8 1 1 6 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2021.8.1.1-6 Dis/Assembling Value <p>In this text, we offer a vision of waste as integral and immanent to valuation practices and argue that engaging with waste materials can thereby significantly contribute to the field of valuation studies. We lay special emphasis on the intertwined practices and processes of assembling and disassembling value and waste. Creating value is a process of joining together: classifying, grouping, combining, making, re-forming. Yet it is also a process where persons, things, parts of bodies, or landscapes are disentangled, abandoned, dismissed, or corrupted. The notion of disassembly attracts attention not only to the center of the action of valuation but also to its peripheries—to things and materials which are cast aside, to spaces which accommodate that which has been disassembled, and the ambiguities and potentialities opened up by processes of disassembly. Thinking with waste also pushes us to think about how various regimes of value are connected and how they coexist and/or compete. As such, waste is not a coherent thing, but rather one that gets displaced and transformed in valuing practices which coexist in various ways.</p> Emma Greeson Stefan Laser Olli Pyyhtinen Copyright (c) 2020 Emma Greeson, Stefan Laser, Olli Pyyhtinen 2020-07-09 2020-07-09 8 1 151 166 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.2.151-166 Towards a Reformulation Board of editors Copyright (c) 2020 Board of editors 2020-03-12 2020-03-12 8 1 1 1 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.1.1 On Inventing the Purpose-Driven Enterprise <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In this article we present the main lineaments for a reform of the business corporation introducing the purpose of the firm. In France, a report commissioned by the government recommends that two new concepts should be introduced in law: the raison d’être of the firm and “purpose-driven enterprises.” This reform partly originated in a research program carried out in France after 2009. The legal articulation of a so-called “purpose-driven enterprise” has now taken off, first in the US and now in France and elsewhere. It paves the way to introducing sustainability issues and new valuations processes in corporate governance.</span></p> Kevin Levillain Blanche Segestrin Copyright (c) 2019 Kevin Levillain, Blanche Segestrin 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 8 1 87 93 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.196187 Cheers to the Friends (of the Enemies) of Value Fabian Muniesa Copyright (c) 2019 Fabian Muniesa 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 8 1 1 4 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.19611 Communicating Credibility by Expert Service Workers <p>One of the fastest-growing occupational groups in the US is expert service workers: knowledge workers who sell their expert knowledge and services on the free market. In this paper, we offer a comparative case study of how expert service workers, whom are hired for their professional evaluations, navigate the tensions of the expert service-client relation in a specific but critical way: How do they convince others that their professional recommendations are credible? Specifically, we draw on two disparate cases of expert evaluators, book reviewers and management consultants, and document two communicative patterns that these professional groups use to build the credibility of their professional recommendations: (i) transparency and (ii) distanciation. Similarities in the credibility tactics of these two sets of expert service workers from two very different worlds, the Arts and business, suggest their generalizable value. Hence, we conclude by discussing how our findings offer a general approach we call, the evaluative triangle, for studying the credibility tactics of expert claims across multiple worlds of work.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Phillipa Chong Alaric Bourgoin Copyright (c) 2020 Phillipa Chong, Alaric Bourgoin 2020-03-12 2020-03-12 8 1 65 65 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.1.65 Three Modes of Valuation Practices in Art Games <p>Several suggestions on distinguishing between “modes” of valuation practices are found in the literature. In this contribution, valuation practices are moves in a kind of social play that generates its own kind of value. Valuation in the Arts is chosen as an empirical example. Following the model, the Arts are interpreted as a set of games with the same kind of value code, in which artists and producers create performances for engaged and curious spectators. The four kinds of players engage in valuations of objects and other players in their respective games. The broad range of observations in art games demonstrates that valuation is practiced in three modes: attribution, assessment and payment. While practices of attribution and assessment generate and stabilize art-specific value accumulation, paying practices link the attributed and assessed values to the monetary valuation in games of commercial play. The distinctions of valuation practices employed by three recent authors are set into relation to the suggested modes. <span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Michael Hutter Copyright (c) 2021 Michael Hutter 2021-04-29 2021-04-29 8 1 85 119 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2021.8.1.85-119 ‘It’s not like any survey I’ve ever seen before’: Discrete Choice Experiments as a Valuation Technology <p>This paper unpacks what happened when members of the local community were invited to design and test a valuation tool – specifically a discrete choice experiment<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>– to find a valuation for New Zealand’s Otago Peninsula. We argue that the assumptions that lie within a discrete choice experiment are revealed when we look closely at <em>how</em> community participants react to the discrete choice experiment survey they have helped design. These assumptions, usually unnoticed, include the necessity of making trade-offs; what actions are possible; the ‘reality’ of one’s preference structures; the need for abstraction; and the importance of big picture patterns. We also argue that how these assumptions are negotiated in practice depends on complex power relationships between researchers, participants, and the technology itself. While we might seek to ‘empower’ the community with knowledge of economic processes and valuation practices, this might not be the empowerment they seek. Participants find ways to be active negotiators in the face of valuation technologies.</p> Vicki Macknight Fabien Medvecky Copyright (c) 2021 Vicki Macknight & Fabien Medvecky 2021-04-29 2021-04-29 8 1 7 31 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2021.8.1.7-31 Temporality in Academic Evaluation <p>This paper builds on emerging concerns with how temporality and spatiality unfold in, and order, academic evaluation practices. We unpack how the notion of ‘trajectory’ – a simultaneously prospective and retrospective narrative device permeating contemporary academic evaluation discourses – is mobilized within a particular evaluation site. Materials for our study are drawn from reports commissioned by Swedish universities when hiring for new professors. These texts are authored by external referees who rank and compare candidates, in this case for associate and full professorship positions in biomedicine. By using the theoretical perspective of ‘narrative infrastructures’ we explore how the referee reports mobilize ‘trajectories’ to weave together disparate bits of evidence extracted from the bylines of biomedical researchers’ CVs: publication numbers, impact factors, authorship positions and ‘earning power’. Our analysis finds certain resemblances across reports of what constitutes an ideal candidate’s career trajectory, but none of these are completely identical. We consider how ‘the trajectory’ is evoked as a singularity within this genre of writing, thereby bestowing retrospectively a sense of coherence and purpose on the past performance and prospective development of careers. We discuss the implications of our findings in terms of how ‘trajectorism’ shapes evaluation in academic biomedicine and possibly beyond, and propose suggestions for how this dominant narrative might be challenged.</p> Björn Hammarfelt Alexander D. Rushforth Sarah de Rijcke Copyright (c) 2020 Björn Hammarfelt, Alexander D. Rushforth, Sarah de Rijcke 2020-03-12 2020-03-12 8 1 33 33 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.1.33 Valuation Constellations <p>The focus on situated practices in current valuation studies becomes an obstacle when situations are too narrowly defined, when moments of valuation are treated as isolated events and especially when the interconnectedness of moments across situations and social fields is neglected. In order to overcome these limitations, we propose the concept of <em>valuation constellations </em>(Meier et al. 2016). Based on the literature on valuation the concept distinguishes <em>positions</em> and their <em>relations, rules</em>, and <em>infrastructures</em>. We present these three components of constellations and demonstrate the potential of the concept regarding three analytical puzzles of valuation analysis: historical change of valuation processes, the definition and solution of valuation problems, and the legitimacy of valuations. Each of the puzzles is illustrated with an empirical case, i.e. dating platforms and apps, higher education, and amateur reviewing. Going beyond situationalism, the valuation constellations perspective is key to understanding interconnected valuation processes.</p> Désirée Waibel Thorsten Peetz Frank Meier Copyright (c) 2021 Désirée Waibel, Thorsten Peetz, Frank Meier 2021-04-29 2021-04-29 8 1 33 66 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2021.8.1.33-66 Research note. Valuation Mishaps and the Choreography of Repair <p>This research note proposes that it is instructive to ask what happens when evaluative practices go wrong. It shows how a close study of mistakes and mishaps in evaluation - both in the process of their disclosure and subsequent management - provides important insights into ways in which evaluation practices contribute to performing and sustaining the relations of accountability involved. The note examines two cases: 1) the mistaken award of the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture and 2) the incident in November 2016 when Thomson Reuters notified a large number of scholars that they had been awarded the distinction of being a “Highly Cited Researcher” in their field, only a few hours later to retract these awards. Studying such instances provides insights into what is at stake for participants, the choreography of performing and revealing evaluations, the ways in which different evaluation practices fold together, and the accountability structures which support valuation practices.</p> Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Steve Woolgar Copyright (c) 2018-05-02 2018-05-02 8 1 145 162 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1852145 Research Note. A Culture of Costs versus A Culture of Expenses <p>When there is money spent on products of culture, are those costs or expenses? An answer to that question may be of importance not only to accountants and auditors, and it can vary among cultures. This article compares the way the issue is presented by two fiction writers, one Swedish and one British.</p> Barbara Czarniawska Copyright (c) 2018-05-02 2018-05-02 8 1 131 144 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1852131 The Value of a Valuation Perspective for Theorizing about Social Change and Climate Change <p>This study combines three purposes: to advance a valuation perspective for theorizing about social change and climate change; to contribute to the general debate on pricing as the dominant policy to meet climate mitigation goals; to improve our understanding of potential decarbonization processes in China. We apply a valuation perspective to an in-depth case study of an emerging carbon market in Hubei Province in Central China. The study builds on original data collected during field trips to Hubei (2014, 2015) and additional documents covering recent developments in the Chinese carbon market. It shows how putting a price on carbon in China emerges as the outcome of a long-term cultural and institutional process in which China’s high-carbon growth model is increasingly contested. We emphasize the work that was required before a carbon price could emerge as a market price, and focus on the uncertainty that needed to be overcome in the complex multilevel Chinese system. We suggest that China’s introduction of low-carbon policies are a side effect of other political, economic and social pressures, and that it is largely facilitated because such policies are consistent with many other changes that are occurring simultaneously both in the Chinese context and globally.</p> Anita Engels Chen Wang Copyright (c) 2018-05-02 2018-05-02 8 1 93 130 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.185293 Five years! Have we not had enough of valuation studies by now? Not Available. Liliana Doganova Martin Giraudeau Hans Kjellberg Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Francis Lee Alexandre Mallard Andrea Mennicken Fabian Muniesa Ebba Sjögren Teun Zuiderent-Jerak Copyright (c) 2018-05-02 2018-05-02 8 1 83 91 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.185285 Disobedient Things <p>Analysis of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the accumulatory decline of BP demonstrates both the analytical efficacy of the capital-as-power approach to value theory, and the irreducible role of objects in the process of accumulation. Rather than productivity per se, accumulation depends on control of productivity. Capital as power focuses on capitalization as an expression of the assessment by owners of their own power. In this article, I argue that the power of owners translated into capital values is over both the human and non-human components of systems of production. Power is actualized through entities defined as cultural and political, as well as economic. Capitalization translates the irreducible social order – including objects – that bear on accumulation into commensurable units of capital. The decline of BP’s capital valuation in the wake of the disaster expressed the market’s falling confidence in the obedience of the entities that bear on its profits, including the things that comprise the company’s productive capacity.</p> David Troy Cochrane Copyright (c) 2020 David Troy Cochrane 2020-03-12 2020-03-12 8 1 3 3 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.1.3 Valuating Practices, Principles and Products in DIY Biology <p>In this article, we study do-it-yourself (DIY) biology, by looking in particular at the different forms of valuation within the DIY biology movement. Building upon recent work in economic sociology and the study of valuation, we take as case studies different projects developed by DIY biologists. Our approach is attentive to the moments when these projects are valued, i.e. during competitions, investment pitches, and crowdfunding campaigns. The projects analyzed involve both market valuations (with investments, products and potential markets) and non-market valuations (be they social, ethical or cultural). Our key argument is that value is produced through distributed and heterogeneous processes: products, practices, principles and places are valued at the same time. We show that there is not only a valuation of technical and production aspects (well highlighted in the key literature on valuation), but also a valuation of social links and of specific forms of organization. Both are inseparable - it is neither the object nor the context in themselves that are valued, but the “good-within-the-context-of-its-making”: the production of vegan cheese or biological ink <em>and </em>the places and communities of DIY biology or future markets are valued. The valuation practices we examine aim at producing an <em>interest</em> in a threefold sense: a general interest (a public good), an interest for the public (its curiosity), and a monetary interest (by making people financially participate).<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Morgan Meyer Rebecca Wilbanks Copyright (c) 2020 Morgan Meyer, Rebecca Wilbanks 2020-03-12 2020-03-12 8 1 101 101 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.1.101 Watching Valuation Coevolve with Production This research note uses interviews and observations of anthology editors to explore how valuation practices shift depending on the stage of anthology construction. In the textual environment described here, editors tended to value texts related to their own lives during the early stages of construction. Later on in the process, editors sought texts related to the texts they had already gathered. In this later stage, editors performed “constant comparison,” scanning texts for concepts related to concepts identified in previously acquired texts. The research note also describes the complex relationship between editors’ valuation and writers’ production. Valuation trends became known to writers, who then shifted their production practices, which became known to editors, who then shifted their editorial practices, which became known to writers, and so on. The note concludes with speculative commentary on implications for other fields such as art collecting. Christopher Leary Copyright (c) 2017-10-06 2017-10-06 8 1 61 68 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.175161 Attempting to Bring Valuation and Politics Together : The Politics of Valuation Studies at a Series of Sessions in Copenhagen Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Monika Krause Fabian Muniesa Copyright (c) 2017-10-06 2017-10-06 8 1 1 6 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.17511 Valuing Species: The Continuities between Non-Market and Market Valuations in Biodiversity Conservation <p>This article explores how the rise of new markets for biodiversity has been facilitated by existing, non-market-based valuation practices within the field of biodiversity conservation. Where others have considered biodiversity markets in terms of capitalist and/or neoliberal expansion, I argue that the abstraction of the value of living things in markets is made easier by the existing valuation practices of species-based biodiversity conservation. After briefly contextualising the terms ‘species’ and ‘biodiversity’ within the history of Western conservation, the article shows how biodiversity conservation - as science, policy and practice - subordinates the value of individual living organisms and emplaced ecologies to the abstract categories of species and habitat types. This conceptual move performs a condition of ethical commensurability between individual organisms and places, thereby prefiguring the equivalence of value between units of the same category needed to establish new markets for biodiversity. The article considers this link between the valuation practices of species-based biodiversity conservation and new markets for biodiversity as an instance of performative continuity. The article concludes by reflecting on the critical use of attending to the links between existing valuation practices in biodiversity conservation and new biodiversity markets.</p> Aurora Fredriksen Copyright (c) 2017-10-06 2017-10-06 8 1 39 59 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.175139 From Valuation to Instauration <p>At the request of Valuation Studies, Antoine Hennion reflects on his own investigative trajectory as a way to explore the ways in which the sociology of attachment, which lies at the heart of his pragmatist approach, can refine our understanding of a number of recurring problems with which the sociology of valuation is confronted.</p> Antoine Hennion Copyright (c) 2017-10-06 2017-10-06 8 1 69 81 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.175169 From Trash to Treasure <p>The paper, based on an ongoing research project conducted in Finland, examines voluntary dumpster diving as a practice of valuation. Its main questions are: How is voluntary dumpster diving intertwined with the question of value? And, conversely, what can dumpster diving teach us about practices of valuation more generally? The article proceeds via three steps. First, in order to emphasize the creative side of dumpster diving as a practice of valuation, we draw on Georg Simmel’s theory of value, supplementing it with the concepts of actuality and virtuality, as elaborated by Gilles Deleuze. Second, we look more closely into the practicalities of valuation evident in dumpster diving. It involves a particular orientation to the urban environment that we call <em>the scavenger gaze</em>. Third, the informants also value the practice itself in relation to its societal relevance. They think about dumpster diving as a way of doing good and as part of an ecologically sound form of life. All in all, as value does not reside inherently in waste or would simply be merely the product of subjective judgment, the analyst must attend to multiple modes of valuation evident in the practice, among which there is no self-evident hierarchy.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen Olli Pyyhtinen Copyright (c) 2020 Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen, Olli Pyyhtinen 2020-07-08 2020-07-08 8 1 197 220 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.2.197-220 Using Breach Experiments to Explore Price Setting in Everyday Economic Locations <p class="p1"><span class="s1">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. </span></p> Daniel Neyland Marta Gasparin Lucia Siu Copyright (c) 2019 Daniel Neyland, Marta Gasparin, Lucia Siu 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 8 1 5 30 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.19615 Ecologies of Valuation <p>When used consumer goods are exchanged, valuation proceeds differently than in markets for new goods. Many studies emphasize the social or socio-technical nature of valuation processes. This article outlines the difficulties inherent in these approaches when it comes to understanding valuation of used goods. These approaches, somewhat paradoxically, obscure the greater situatedness of contextualized “moments of valuation” in material flows and in relation to production processes. The ecological approach developed here shows that moments of valuation are never divorced from temporally and spatially prior and subsequent moments of valuation and waste production, and cannot be fully understood if not considered alongside the conditions in which the goods being valued are produced. The subtractive logic of ridding is crucial in the processes of production and valuation of used goods. This article draws on ethnographic and interview data from fourteen months of fieldwork in England to show how used books are valued in an ecology that stretches across connected moments and sites.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Emma Greeson Copyright (c) 2020 Emma Greeson 2020-07-09 2020-07-09 8 1 167 196 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.2.167-196 Sorting, shredding and smelting scrap <p>The global economy of e-waste recycling has received much attention in recent waste studies literature. This article gives an account from the inside of two different sites within a leading high-tech recycling and smelting company in which such e-waste is assessed; and discusses the valuation of electronic waste in the course of its industrial processing. Based on a two-month long ethnography by way of an internship, the article examines how the recycler manages to distinguish and separate out valuable ‘scrap’, in contrast to valueless ‘waste’. The article subdivides the inquiry into two questions. What practices are involved when transforming e-waste into scrap and waste? And how can we appreciate differences in how they are configured? The study of two different facilities in operation next to one another provides additional leverage to the inquiry since the valuation practices involved when assessing the incoming e-waste differ between them. Differences are tied to specificities in how the electronics are sorted out, shredded, and smelted. The article shows how these processes of deformation are linked to the valuation practices and the accounting system of the company. Calculations, it is argued, succeed only because things are literally broken.</p> Stefan Laser Copyright (c) 2020 Stefan Laser 2020-07-08 2020-07-08 8 1 221 255 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.2.221-255 Classification Situations <p>This conference note adds to recent discussions about the sociological implications of the spread of digital techniques for classifying market actors, specifically with regard to processes of social stratification. We first present some of the contributions to the conference “Classification Situations in Markets” and then discuss their implications for future research in general and the field of valuation studies in particular. We suggest three themes related to the conference that deserve further attention by students of valuation and related social processes: (a) the challenges posed by the rise of big data and algorithmic classifications to the study of classification and valuation; (b) the feedback loops of valuation regimes, in particular their consequences for conceptions of the self; and (c) the relation between classification situations and larger institutional settings, which implies a more explicitly comparative orientation.</p> Julian Jürgenmeyer Karoline Krenn Copyright (c) 2016-12-20 2016-12-20 8 1 177 189 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1642177 Exemplary Goods: Exemplars as Judgment Devices <p>In this article the notion of exemplars is developed to study valuation processes. It argues that exemplary goods are an important ‘judgment device’ on markets of singular goods, which has so far been ignored in the literature. The article draws on Hannah Arendt’s theory of exemplars, as well as literature from the philosophy of science and psychology to construct the new concept. Exemplars are particular goods that become focal points in markets that facilitate the mutual coordination of consumers and producers. From these exemplars norms of quality emerge which are otherwise hard or impossible to explicate. These exemplars and the norms of quality which emerge from them help shape the expectations of both producers and consumers with regard to new goods that are introduced to the market. Two illustrative cases, on classic literature and hip-hop music, are presented to demonstrate the relevance of the concept.</p> Erwin Dekker Copyright (c) 2016-12-20 2016-12-20 8 1 103 124 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1642103 Folded Valuations? Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Copyright (c) 2016-12-20 2016-12-20 8 1 93 102 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.164293 Handling Rejection as Failure: Aspiring Writers Getting the Rejection Slip <p>Included in the definition of being an aspiring person is the risk of failure. Aspiring fiction writers are no exception. This article shows that the role of aspiring fiction writer involves managing three issues: the hope of being published, rejection by a publisher, and the perception of the rejection as a failure. Drawing on 47 interviews with fiction writers who have attempted to become first-time writers, the analysis shows that aspiring writers’ responses to rejection are related to accepting and dismissing responsibility for having failed and admitting or dismissing the rejection as a perceived failure. Based on these findings, the article presents procedures associated with four main approaches to dealing with failure: conceding, excusing, justifying, and refusing. This conceptual framework for understanding failure contributes to a theoretical understanding of evaluation and valuation processes and their consequences and to empirical studies of rejection as career failure; it also systematizes and extends Goffmans work on cooling out strategies.</p> Henrik Fürst Copyright (c) 2016-12-20 2016-12-20 8 1 153 176 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1642153 The Organizational Valuation of Valuation Devices: Putting Lean whiteboard management to work in a hospital department <p>This paper is about the interplay between multiple modes of valuation. The paper engages with the question of how a valuation device intersects with the working values of an organization. While the many studies of valuation practices have drawn attention to the pervasive effects of valuation devices, only a few studies have taken into account the fact that many spaces, including organizations, are already filled with practices and ideas that constitute what is valuable. Revisiting classical organization theory, this paper shows that organizations comprise multiple, more—or less—integrated modes of valuation. Empirically, the paper draws on an ethnographic study of Lean management at a children’s hospital, which is presented through analytical snapshots. The paper suggests that an organizational turn is relevant for valuation studies, as this fi rst allows an analytical expansion to include less ‘deviced’ valuations, contributes to the ongoing culture vs. device debate offering an alternative to the causal analysis of devices and effects without making the ‘ineffable culture’ what makes or breaks the causality.</p> Amalie Martinus Hauge Copyright (c) 2016-12-20 2016-12-20 8 1 125 151 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1642125 Measuring Welfare Beyond GDP <p>This article analyses a series of negotiations of how to measure welfare and quality of life in Sweden beyond economic indicators. It departs from a 2015 Government Official Report that advanced a strong recommendation to measure only objective indicators, rather than relying on subjective indicators such as life satisfaction and happiness. The assertion of strictly objective indicators falls back on a sociological perspective developed in the 1970s, which conceived of welfare as being measurable as 'levels of living', a framework that came to be called the 'Scandinavian model' of welfare research. However, in the early 2000s, objective indicators were challenged scientifically by the emerging field of 'happiness studies', which also found political advocates in Sweden who argued that subjective indicators should be an integral part of measuring welfare. This tension between subjective and objective measurements resulted in a controversy between several actors about what should count as a valuable measurement of welfare. As a consequence, we argue that these negotiations can be understood as the creation of valuemeters, devices that both measure and value various aspects of society.</p> Christopher Kullenberg Gustaf Nelhans Copyright (c) 2017 Christopher Kullenberg, Gustaf Nelhans 2020-02-17 2020-02-17 8 1 7 38 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.17517 The Value of Tropical Biodiversity in Rural Melanesia <p>In this paper we discuss differences in the ways transnational conservationists and Melanesian farmers, hunters and fishers value ‘biodiversity’. The money for conservation projects in developing countries originates from people who are embedded in a capitalist system, which allows engagement with nature as an abstract entity. Their western education has given them a scientific/ evolutionary-based worldview, which attributes intrinsic value to all species (and particular arrangements of species, e.g. rainforests and coral reefs), irrespective of economic value or ecosystem function. Because this value system is mostly not shared by the custodians of the biodiversity that conservationists want to save, alternative tactics and arguments are utilised. These inevitably take the form of so-called ‘win-win’ economic rationales for preserving biodiversity, most of which do not work well (e.g. bioprospecting, ecotourism, non-timber forest products, environmental certification schemes, payments for ecosystem services, etc.), for reasons which we detail. Agriculture- and aquaculture-based livelihoods appear to enjoy more success than the ‘win-win’ options but do not necessarily obviate or deter further biodiversity loss. Artisanal use of species-poor but productive and resilient pelagic fisheries is increasing. These ecological and economic realities bring into sharp focus the importance of understanding differences in value systems for successful biodiversity conservation in the tropics.</p> Simon Foale Michelle Dyer Jeff Kinch Copyright (c) 2016 Simon Foale, Michelle Dyer, Jeff Kinch 2016-11-25 2016-11-25 8 1 11 39 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.164111 Valuable Subversions: Gendered Generativity and Sorcerous Production in Central Mozambique <p>How is one to analyze the existence of a subterranean dwarfish couple (zwidoma) occupying the space underneath cooking places and whose central purpose is to reinforce a market woman’s sales—but simultaneously feeding off her very body? Using urban and rural ethnographic material from central Mozambique, where such assemblages comprising the zwidoma and a woman are integral to economic life and social orders, this article contextualizes such constellations—effectively interferences within various domains of value—by undertaking an analysis of gendered modalities of generativity. Further, by meditating on various understandings of cosmology and, ultimately, the dynamics constituting the realms of the real, it presents an alternative to influential analyses of capitalism, such as the notion of “occult economies.” An argument is made not only for value’s dynamic and changeable nature but also for the necessity to appreciate instances of its subversion with destructive effects. The article underlines, therefore, how such subversions of value, in various forms, is in line with Tsing’s (2015) general argument that critical explorations of capitalism and regimes of valuation and production are best undertaken in peri-capitalist zones—such as urban and rural Mozambique.</p> Bjørn Enge Bertelsen Copyright (c) 2016 Bjørn Enge Bertelsen 2016-11-25 2016-11-25 8 1 41 66 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.164141 Carbon Valuation: Alternatives, Alternations and Lateral Measures? <p>This article refers to carbon valuation as the practice of ascribing value to, and assessing the value of, actions and objects in terms of carbon emissions. Due to the pervasiveness of carbon emissions in the actions and objects of everyday lives of human beings, the making of carbon offsets and credits offers almost unlimited repertoires of alternatives to be included in contemporary carbon valuation schemes. Consequently, the article unpacks how discussions of carbon valuation are interpreted through different registers of alternatives - as the commensuration and substitution of variants on the one hand, and the confrontational comparison of radical difference on the other. Through the reading of a wide selection of the social science literature on carbon markets and trading, the article argues that the value of carbon emissions itself depends on the construction of alternative, hypothetical scenarios, and that emissions have become both a moral and a virtual measure pitting diverse forms of actualised actions or objects against each other or against corresponding nonactions and non-objects as alternatives.</p> Steffen Dalsgaard Copyright (c) 2016-11-25 2016-11-25 8 1 67 91 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.164167 Guest Editorial: Alternative Valuations Ton Otto Steffen Dalsgaard Copyright (c) 2016-11-25 2016-11-25 8 1 1 9 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.16411 Economizing as Exploring Valuations <p>This study deals with the building of a specific set of economic valuations throughout the work of French telephone engineers between 1880 and 1938. In so doing, it contributes to our understanding of the complex interplay between economization and valuation. Tracing the changing practices that facilitated a shift from valuation aimed at minimizing force losses to valuation aimed at assessing and enhancing subjective utility, economizing is considered as an epistemic process, through which managers, engineers and workers are exploring, representing and transforming the world. From saving work and minimizing losses to creating value, engineers went from evaluating (telling what is worth, within an economy of force, optimizing the ratio of losses over total work) to valorizing (framing value as possibly produced and not only saved, the production of utility). This new concern for valorization points to the development of new ideas on what could create economic value. In this process, the very acts of measuring, optimizing and calculating, appeared as both “subversive” and “subverted”.</p> Alexandra Bidet Copyright (c) 2020 Alexandra Bidet 2020-03-12 2020-03-12 8 1 123 123 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.2020.7.1.123 Reactivity and Resistance to Evaluation Devices <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This paper explores the trajectory of a novel evaluation device for customer satisfaction with service encounters and the performance of financial advisors. Drawing on literature on quantification and commensuration, boundary objects and bipartite collaboration, we explore the set-up and collaboration between employer and trade union in the design phase and the actual use and translation of the valuation system. The data stems from a multi-year, multi-site study of banking in two Nordic countries. The analysis illustrates how, when some operational managers started using the device to suit their own purposes, the process morphed from an initial agreement into a dispute. The paper shows how quantitative systems of evaluation easily diverge from their initially proposed purposes when in use, producing reactivity and resistance among organizational members. Some financial advisors were positive about the evaluation device and the opportunity it afforded to improve performance, whereas others regarded it as another surveillance attempt for enhancing management control. We also contribute to the literature by elaborating on the relationship between reactivity and resistance on individual and collective levels.</span></p> Ulla Forseth Stewart Clegg Emil André Røyrvik Copyright (c) 2019 Ulla Forseth, Stewart Clegg, Emil André Røyrvik 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 8 1 31 61 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.196131 From the Qualities of Products to the Qualities of Relations <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This article explores the “quality battlefield” in the food economy – the dispute over value conventions between mainstream business actors and alternative food networks. It shows how actors in one particular alternative network – the solidarity economy – shift such notions from product qualities to the qualities of relations in production. Opposing the standardized criteria characterizing private certification schemes and organic certification, they struggle to establish the value of their products by creating and circulating verifiable stories proving their involvement in the solidarity economy. These stories further emphasize the distance to standard business motivations, for instance by accentuating the cooperative rather than competitive relations with other producers. The article illustrates the features and tensions of value conventions in alternative food networks by contrasting actors in mainstream agriculture with an expanding organization of agricultural producers adhering to solidarity economy and operating in the grocery sector in Sicily, Italy.</span></p> Mihai Varga Copyright (c) 2019 Mihai Varga 2019-02-01 2019-02-01 8 1 63 86 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.196163 “Much More than a Song Contest”: Exploring Eurovision 2014 as Potlatch <p>As economic and budgetary scandals reached Danish front pages in 2014 over the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) held that year in Copenhagen, many bystanders questioned the sense of the event, proclaiming it a massive waste of public money. In this article, we introduce the concept of “potlatch” to explore the valuation and values of this event, seeing it as a “total social phenomenon” in which more than merely economic matters are at stake. Framing Eurovision as a cross-sectoral innovation project, we show how a wide array of actors from the public and private sector collaboratively sought to turn the event into “much more than a song contest.” This “much more” is investigated by describing the partnering actors’ arduous work to create value through different project logics. Where other valuations of the event put little work into bringing forth values which transgress the realm of the economic and quantifiable, we argue that a more caring engagement enacts non-economic event outcomes usually made invisible or, at best, perceived as “intangible.”</p> Morten Krogh Petersen Carina Ren Copyright (c) 2015-12-11 2015-12-11 8 1 97 118 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.153297 Guest Editorial: Valuing Tourism Carina Ren Morten Krogh Petersen Dianne Dredge Copyright (c) 2015-12-11 2015-12-11 8 1 85 96 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.153285 Understanding Valuing Devices in Tourism through “Place-making” <p>The paper explores how valuing devices and verification mechanisms such as user-generated content (UGC) websites partake in performing placeness. The findings are based upon a corpus of data including a case study at the offices of the largest user-generated travel website, TripAdvisor, a longitudinal netnographic approach and a conceptual review. Originally inspired by theorists of space we treat places as sites of becoming that are performed through everyday practices. In claiming that places become meaningful only in and through practices we stress the importance of treating rating and ranking mechanisms as generative, rather than merely reductive algorithmically produced representations. By juxtaposing traditional enactments of traveling, we are discussing how placeness has been transformed and how this has fueled a series of further revisions to valuing tourism. We conclude the paper by appreciating the multiplicity of performativity as being implicated in the algorithmic configurations on contemporary valuing devices and enacted as we read, interpret, write, imagine. It is suggested that although earlier valuing devices have evoked place-making in various ways, the rise of UGC websites has converted the travel experience into a constant negotiation process whereby both the value of places and the value of valuing devices are contested.</p> Vasiliki Baka Copyright (c) 2015-12-11 2015-12-11 8 1 149 180 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1532149 ’Tourist Price’ and Diasporic Visitors: Negotiating the Value of Descent <p>Marketplace exchange is implicitly both economic and social. Participants in marketplace encounters assemble into multidimensional categories of familiarity and difference, both through the material culture object for sale and through the interaction between vendors and clients within their transactions. This paper brings attention to the latter through microanalysis of one example from a corpus of recorded marketplace interactions of Moroccan diasporic visitors from Europe with marketplace vendors. This example illustrates a repeatedly observed bargaining strategy: to explicitly or implicitly claim the category of ‘a son/daughter of this country’ (weld/bint el-bled) as an argument to lower prices. While vendors did not straightforwardly refute this category of ‘descendant’, they often did respond by introducing other–sometimes seemingly contradictory–categorical differentiations they found relevant to finding a price. This article explores how vendors and diasporic customers negotiate these categories, and how categorization become significant for the emergent value of the goods under negotiation. Through turn-by-turn analysis, I demonstrate how interlocutors engage with ideas of ‘Moroccanness’ beyond ethnonational discourses of belonging, in that ‘doing being Moroccan’ while bargaining becomes a negotiation of being ‘Moroccan’ geographically, socially and economically, as resident in or out of Morocco.</p> Lauren B. Wagner Copyright (c) 2015-12-11 2015-12-11 8 1 119 148 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1532119 The Construction of Brand Denmark: A Case Study of the Reversed Causality in Nation Brand Valuation <p>In this article we unpack the organizational effects of the valuation practices enacted by nation branding rankings in a contemporary case where the Danish government employed branding-inspired methods. Our main argument is that the use of nation branding was enabled by the Nation Brands Index via its efficient translation of fuzzy political goals into understandable numerical objectives. The Nation Brands Index becomes the driving force in a powerful bureaucratic translation of nation branding which in turn has several reordering effects at organizational level. We thus demonstrate how the Nation Brands Index permits bureaucratic expansion in central government administration as it continuously maintains and reconstructs problems solvable by the initiation of more nation branding initiatives and projects and hence more bureaucratic activity.</p> Henrik Merkelsen Rasmus Kjærgaard Rasmussen Copyright (c) 2015-12-11 2015-12-11 8 1 181 198 10.3384/VS.2001-5992.1532181 Grappling with the Economy of Enrichment In a conversation with Fabian Muniesa from the board of editors of Valuation Studies, Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre unravelled a few of the distinguishing features of their new work on the sociology of valuation. Combining an updated view on the pragmatics of justification and a more recent preoccupation with the problem of prices, their proposal appears as both a suitable contribution and a timely challenge to current threads in valuation studies. It also interacts in a stimulating fashion with their concomitant analysis of the political atmosphere in France, and more widely of the shift to identity that so vividly informs the critique of capitalism today. Luc Boltanski Arnaud Esquerre Copyright (c) 2015-10-14 2015-10-14 8 1 75 83 10.3384/VS.2001-5592.153175 Valuation and Calculation at the Margins Not Available. Andrea Mennicken Ebba Sjögren Copyright (c) 2015-10-14 2015-10-14 8 1 1 7 10.3384/VS.2001-5592.15311 Of Principle and Principal: Value Plurality in the Market of Impact Investing <p>Impact investing-investment with the intentional expectation of social or environmental impact alongside financial return-constitutes one of a growing array of “concerned markets” where economic exchange is employed as a means to pursue financial and social or environmental value. Drawing from the pragmatist turn in valuation studies, this article attends to the valuation work that took place in the formation of this new market, examining how market proponents as evaluators recognized, defined, and negotiated the presence of value complexity in impact investing. I frame the market of impact investing as a case of market design complete with experiments, one in which advocates produced a valuation infrastructure so as to address investors’ difficulty in ascertaining the social and environmental value - as a distinct regime of value from financial value - of an investment. These experimenters extended judgment devices from mainstream finance to construct calculative tools in this setting that permitted the social or environmental value of investments to be brought into being and to be made calculable for investors without being assigned a financial value. The study contributes to literature that theorizes the conditions underlying evaluators’ mediation of the multiple registers of value at work in the making of markets.</p> Emily Barman Copyright (c) 2015-10-14 2015-10-14 8 1 9 44 10.3384/VS.2001-5592.15319 Ineffable Cultures or Material Devices: What Valuation Studies can Learn from the Disappearance of Ensured Solidarity in a Health Care Market <p>Valuation studies addresses how values are made in valuation practices. A next - or rather previous - question becomes: what then makes valuation practices? Two oppositional replies are starting to dominate how that question can be answered: a more materially oriented focus on devices of valuation and a more sociologically inclined focus on ineffable valuation cultures. The debate between proponents of both approaches may easily turn into the kind of leapfrog debates that have dominated many previous discussions on whether culture or materiality would play a decisive role in driving history. This paper explores a less repetitive reply. It does so by analyzing the puzzling case of the demise of solidarity as a core value within the recent Dutch health care system of regulated competition. While “solidarity among the insured” was both a strong cultural value within the Dutch welfare-based health system, and a value that was built into market devices by health economists, within a fairly short time “fairness” became of lesser importance than “competition”. This makes us call for a more historical, relational, and dynamic understanding of the role of economists, market devices, and of culture in valuation studies.</p> Teun Zuiderent-Jerak Stans van Egmond Copyright (c) 2015-10-14 2015-10-14 8 1 45 73 10.3384/VS.2001-559.153145 Weight, Density and Space in the Norwegian Reindeer Crisis–Notes Towards a Critique <p>For decades now, the dominant narrative about indigenous reindeer pastoralism in northern Norway has been that there is a crisis of excess: an oversized reindeer population, poorly held in check by poorly governed herders, is overgrazing the tundra, degrading the pasture grounds, spilling over into urban spaces and precipitating moral crises by starving to death “out there,” on the tundra. Set against the background of this ongoing crisis, the present paper focuses on a set of particularly dense conceptual intersections that cluster around the notion of weight , and the manner in which weight functions both as a crisis indicator and a metric for assessment in contemporary Norwegian pastoral governance. Tracing the work and structure of the weight concept as applied to reindeer–against a dominant government narrative that parses numerical indicators as neutral, objective and apolitical–the paper outlines some of the erasures that the weight metric simultaneously carries out and occludes. The aim of the exercise is to specify and critically reframe certain core issues in the current management of Norwegian pastoralism, by problematising the supposedly neutral, scientific operation of quantitative metrics and assessment practices.</p> Hugo Reinert Copyright (c) 2014-12-16 2014-12-16 8 1 153 183 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1422153 Contingencies of Value: Devices and Conventions at a Design School Admission Test <p>Based on a study of the admission test at a design school, this paper investigates the contingencies of aesthetic values as these become visible in assessment practices. Theoretically, the paper takes its starting point in Herrnstein Smith’s notion of ‘contingencies of values’ and outlines a pragmatist ground where cultural sociology and economic sociology meet. Informed by the literature on cultural intermediaries, the paper discusses the role of evaluators and the devices which accompany them. Whereas studies of cultural intermediaries traditionally apply a Bourdieusian perspective, recent developments within this field of literature draws inspiration from the so-called ‘new new economic sociology,’ which this paper adds to. While the admission test is easily described as a matter of overcoming “subjective” aesthetic evaluations by means of “objective” and standardized assessment criteria, the paper does not accept this storyline. As an alternative, the paper outlines the contingencies of values which are at play at the admission test, composed of official assessment criteria and scoring devices together with conventions within the world of design, and set in motion by interactions with the objects that applicants submit.</p> Sara Malou Strandvad Copyright (c) 2014-12-16 2014-12-16 8 1 119 151 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1422119 “We Was Regenerated Out”: Regeneration, Recycling and Devaluing Communities <p>This article looks at well documented processes of urban regeneration and community displacement in the inner-city through an innovative anthropological perspective focused on concepts of waste and value. Using the notion of symbolic devaluation of the working classes developed by Skeggs (1997; 2004), it traces their exclusion from recycling practices while at the same time the estates they live on are being regenerated. Raising questions about the parallels and contradictions between regeneration and recycling, it shows how symbolic devaluation of specifi c areas and their inhabitants are necessary precursors of the physical demolition and removal that characterize regeneration processes. Through an ethnographic approach, the deep connections between people and their waste, and people as waste, are exposed and questioned, showing how valuable middle class selves are produced through appropriate waste management procedures, i.e. individualized recycling, while inner-city, estate dwellers are remade into uncaring, unworthy citizens who cannot take part in this value-producing circuit.</p> Luna Glucksberg Copyright (c) 2014-12-16 2014-12-16 8 1 97 118 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.142297 Valuation Studies and the Critique of Valuation Liliana Doganova Martin Giraudeau Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Hans Kjellberg Francis Lee Alexandre Mallard Andrea Mennicken Fabian Muniesa Ebba Sjögren Teun Zuiderent-Jerak Copyright (c) 2014-12-16 2014-12-16 8 1 87 96 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.142287 Valuation Is Work Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Fabian Muniesa Copyright (c) 2014-05-26 2014-05-26 8 1 1 4 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.14211 A “Democratization” of Markets? Online Consumer Reviews in the Restaurant Industry <p>This article examines the promise of market democratization conveyed by consumer rating and review websites in the restaurant industry. Based on interviews with website administrators and data from the main French platforms, we show that review websites contribute to the democratization of restaurant criticism, which first started in the 1970s, both by including a greater variety of restaurants in the reviews, and by broadening participation, opening restaurant reviewing to all. However, this twofold democratic ambition conflicts with the need to produce fair and helpful recommendations, leading review websites to seek compromises between these two dimensions.</p> Kevin Mellet Thomas Beauvisage Jean-Samuel Beuscart Marie Trespeuch Copyright (c) 2014-05-26 2014-05-26 8 1 5 41 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.14215 Uncertainty and the Development of Evidence-Based Guidelines <p>This article explores how developers address uncertainty in the creation of an evidence-based guideline (EBG). As the aim of an EBG is to assist healthcare practitioners in situations of doubt, it is easy to assume that uncertainty has no place in guidelines. However, as we discovered, guideline development does not ignore uncertainty but seeks to accept it while establishing credible recommendations for healthcare. Dealing with omissions in knowledge, ignorance, or challenges in valuating different sorts of knowledge form the core of the work of guideline developers. Interviewing guideline developers, we found three types of valuation work: classifying studies, grading types of knowledge, and involving expertise and clinical practice. These methods have consequences for the credibility, and amount and kind of uncertainty EBGs can include.</p> Esther van Loon Roland Bal Copyright (c) 2014-05-26 2014-05-26 8 1 43 64 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.142143 Extending the Cosmopolitical Right to Non-Humans Helen Verran Copyright (c) 2014-05-26 2014-05-26 8 1 65 70 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.142165 Valuation Studies: A Collaborative Valuation in Practice <p>This discussion note provides a perspective on valuation studies by a group of PhD students. Based on impressions from the Valuation as Practice workshop at The University of Edinburgh in early 2014 we were inspired by the example of Kjellberg et al. (2013) to debate how we see, understand, and are inspired by the field of valuation studies. It is the hope of the editors that sharing the concerns of early-stage researchers starting out in a field in flux, may be of use to, and perhaps spur, senior contributors to further develop this emerging research landscape. Using the workshop experience as a springboard, we argue that the domain of valuation studies still relies heavily on influences from the study of economics, with a strong emphasis on processes of quantification and calculation. With apparent pragmatism within the field, concern as to what might be lost by this narrower perspective is raised. Additionally, we call for the exploration of the possibility of a common language of valuation, to better define shared features, and identify as well as manage conflicts within the field.</p> Gordon Haywood Johan Nilsson Michael Franklin Paul Gilbert Linus Johansson Krafve Lisa Lindén Mark MacGillivray Robert Meckin Copyright (c) 2014-05-26 2014-05-26 8 1 71 85 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.142171 Valuation Studies and the Spectacle of Valuation Not Available. Fabian Muniesa Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Copyright (c) 2013-11-27 2013-11-27 8 1 119 123 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1312119 What Is a Good Tomato? A Case of Valuing in Practice <p>As a contribution to the field of valuation studies this article lays out a number of lessons that follow from an exploratory inquiry into ‘good tomatoes’. We held interviews with tomato experts (developers, growers, sellers, processors, professional cooks and so-called consumers) in the Netherlands and analysed the transcriptions carefully. Grouping our informants’ concerns with tomatoes into clusters, we differentiate between five registers of valuing. These have to do with money, handling, historical time, what it is to be natural, and sensual appeal. There are tensions between and within these registers that lead to clashes and compromises. Accordingly, valuing tomatoes does not fit into inclusive formal schemes. Neither is it simply a matter of making judgements. Our informants told us how they know whether a tomato is good, but also revealed what they do to make tomatoes good. Their valuing includes activities such as pruning tomato plants and preparing tomato dishes. But if such activities are meant to make tomatoes good, success is never guaranteed. This prompts us to import the notion of care. Care does not offer control, but involves sustained and respectful tinkering towards improvement. Which is not to say in the end the tomatoes our informants care for are good. In the end these tomatoes get eaten. And while eating performs tomatoes as ‘good to eat’, it also finishes them off. Valuing may lead on to destruction. An important lesson for valuation studies indeed.</p> Frank Heuts Annemarie Mol Copyright (c) 2013-11-27 2013-11-27 8 1 125 146 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1312125 Regulating Crisis: A Retrospective Ethnography of the 1982 Latin American Debt Crisis at the New York Federal Reserve Bank <p>Since the financial crisis of 2008, the term “crisis” has proliferated as a folk concept, and yet remained largely unexamined as an analytic concept. In this essay, I draw on my experience as a research assistant and research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, during what would come to be called the Latin American debt crisis, to contribute to rethinking of financial crisis. Putting aside the assumption that we know a priori the meaning of crisis, I bring into view the material devices, temporalities and, in the words of Bronislaw Malinowski, the “imponderabilia of daily life” entailed by perceiving and regulating crisis. Rather than high-level officials of the Federal Reserve Bank, the essay focuses on research assistants, junior economists, midlevel officials, and also mainframe computers with their glitches and bugs. The essay shows how local, historically specific processes of generating knowledge in a 1980s office of the Federal Reserve Bank were part of grand projects of social reinvention, in which even the lowliest research assistant helped shape a narrative of crisis.</p> Julia Elyachar Copyright (c) 2013-11-27 2013-11-27 8 1 147 160 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1312147 The Conditional Sink: Counterfactual Display in the Valuation of a Carbon Offsetting Reforestation Project <p>This paper examines counterfactual display in the valuation of carbon offsetting projects. Considered a legitimate way to encourage climate change mitigation, such projects rely on the establishment of procedures for the prospective assessment of their capacity to become carbon sinks. This requires imagining possible worlds and assessing their plausibility. The world inhabited by the project is articulated through conditional formulation and subjected to what we call “counterfactual display”: the production and circulation of documents that demonstrate and con!gure the counterfactual valuation. We present a case study on one carbon offsetting reforestation project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We analyse the construction of the scene that allows the “What would have happened” question to make sense and become actionable. We highlight the operations of calculative framing that this requires, the reality constraints it relies upon, and the entrepreneurial conduct it stimulates.</p> Véra Ehrenstein Fabian Muniesa Copyright (c) 2013-11-27 2013-11-27 8 1 161 188 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.1312161 The Power of Market Intermediaries: From Information to Valuation Processes <p>Sociology and economics tend to focus more and more on the intermediaries involved in economic and social relations, in the shape of distributors, matchmakers, consultants, and evaluators. Once they are distinguished according to their forms, their types of intervention and their effects, the intermediaries are a helpful category in order to study the social organization of markets as well as the changes that operate on them, especially regarding the social and economic values of goods, individuals and organizations. We discuss in the first section the link between intermediaries and information, through an analysis of the functions they fulfill that may explain their emergence, as well as the opportunistic behavior of intermediaries in relation to information flows. In the second section, we adopt a more pragmatist perspective on issues of valuation mainly based on “economics of convention”, which emphasizes the collective dynamics of valuation. We show how intermediaries contribute to de!ne valuation through their different activities and foster valuation frames that can improve the coordination of actors, but also reorganize the markets in different ways. We suggest an analytical distinction between the distribution, the temporality and the generality of the frames, and raise the issue of the valuation power of market intermediaries, their legitimation and the eventual regulation of their activities.</p> Christian Bessy Pierre-Marie Chauvin Copyright (c) 2013-04-16 2013-04-16 8 1 83 117 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.131183 The Economic Valuation and Commensuration of Cultural Resources: Financing and Monitoring the Swedish Culture Sector <p>Economic sociology treats the process of valuation and commensuration of resources as socially-embedded practices determined by historical, cultural, and political conditions. Empirical studies of valuation and commensuration demonstrate that the practices of creating metrics, accounting procedures, and other forms of numerical representations that denote underlying resources are bound up with social interests and instituted beliefs. Recently, cultural resources and culture production have been advocated as key drivers of economic growth in what has been branded the “the creative economy.” At the same time, a lot of cultural resources and culture production are, historically, not strictly valued in terms of economic worth, instead being commonly regarded as having an intrinsic social value. Such norms disconnect cultural resources and economic worth, while much culture production is simultaneously being funded by welfare states, making the allocation of public funding a matter of professional expertise. This article reports on a study of how officers of a regional Culture Agency allocate regional culture budgets and monitor culture production via processes of valuation and commensuration. The study contributes to our understanding of how valuation and commensuration play a role in non-market or pseudo-market settings where both political interests and wider social interests are bound up with calculative practices.</p> Alexander Styhre Copyright (c) 2013-04-16 2013-04-16 8 1 51 81 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.131151 Valuation as Evaluating and Valorizing <p>The notion of valuation often blurs a distinction that is crucial to the understanding of economic processes: the distinction between processes of assessment (in which things undergo judgements of value) and processes of production (in which things are produced so as to be of value). Adapted from the introduction of an infuential collection of essays edited by François Vatin and first published in French in 2009, this essay aims to clarify this problem. Based on a collective research venture by a group of social scientists in France, this essay revisits the sociology of evaluation using the sociology of work, and signals the analytic distinction between the two faces of valuation: evaluating and valorizing (in French, évaluer and valoriser). The text was translated from French by Juliette Rogers and revised by Alexandra Bidet.</p> François Vatin Copyright (c) 2013-04-16 2013-04-16 8 1 31 50 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.131131 Valuation Studies? Our Collective Two Cents <p>This article presents the results of a poll made among the members of the editorial and advisory boards of Valuation Studies. The purpose is to overview the topic that is the remit of the new journal. The poll focused on three questions:</p> <ol> <li>Why is the study of valuation topical?</li> <li>What specific issues related to valuation are the most pressing ones to explore?</li> <li>What sites and methods would be interesting for studying valuation?</li> </ol> <p>The answers to these questions provided by sixteen board members form the basis of the article. Based on these answers, it identifies a number of themes concerning the study of valuation, elaborating on the rationale for attending to valuation, the conceptual challenges linked to this, and the specific issues and sites that deserve further attention.</p> <p>Co-authors: Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Patrik Aspers, Stefan Beljean, Alexandra Bidet, Alberto Corsín, Emmanuel Didier, Marion Fourcade, Susi Geiger, Klaus Hoeyer, Michèle Lamont, Donald MacKenzie, Bill Maurer, Jan Mouritsen, Ebba Sjögren, Kjell Tryggestad, François Vatin, Steve Woolgar.</p> Hans Kjellberg Alexandre Mallard Copyright (c) 2013-04-16 2013-04-16 8 1 11 30 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.131111 For What It’s Worth: An Introduction to Valuation Studies Not Available. Claes-Fredrik Helgesson Fabian Muniesa Copyright (c) 2013 Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, Fabian Muniesa 2013-04-16 2013-04-16 8 1 1 10 10.3384/vs.2001-5992.13111