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A socio-economic approach to market transactions

Опубликовано на портале: 15-12-2002
Journal of Socio-Economics. 1999.  Vol. 28. No. 3. P. 309-334. 
The task is to explore social underpinnings in economic exchanges. This oration is undertaken within the frame of reference of socio-economics that centers on the multifarious social and cultural variables of economic phenomena. In particular, the socio-economic perspective on the market, focusing on the social setting of market exchanges, is utilized. As such, this exploration probes under the surface of (seemingly) cost-benefit induced exchange processes and uncovers a far more complex social structure and dynamics underlying these processes. Hence, these processes are analyzed as constituting socio-economic categories of the market. The social-cultural contingency of economic exchange, especially of its market varieties, is the key hypothesis. This signifies that market exchange, just as production, distribution, and consumption, is a dependent variable on concrete social-historical conditions, rather than being a human universal. The approach proposed here provides an alternative to the purely economic conception, which treats exchange processes as strictly economic variables driven by an intrinsic logic and insulated from other social relations. The mainstream economic literature's lack of consistent applications of such an approach to market exchange contrasts with the richness of such applications in the field of socio-economics. An attempt is made to contribute toward further elaboration and application of socio-economics.