Sub-theme 25: Devising Markets and Other Valuation Sites [merged with sub-theme 43]

Liz McFall, Open University, UK
Pascale Trompette, University of Grenoble Alpes, France
Elena Raviola, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, & University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Call for Papers

We invite papers exploring how markets and other valuation sites are 'devised' through the interaction of practices, processes and technologies. The aim is to further develop understanding of the role of knowledge and devices in shaping economies and markets in two ways.

  • First, this sub-theme will explore the dynamic practices of 'devising'. What forms of reasoning, reflexivity and responsibility are at play and how are they distributed across markets and other sites?
  • Second, it considers how things become objects of quantification, judgement and valuation. What gets quantified, calculated, judged and valued as part of this 'devising work', by whom and for what purposes.

These questions are of major social importance. This is one of the reasons that research exploring the processes and practices at play in the devising, organizing or 'agencing' of markets and valuations has proliferated in recent years. There are now many accounts of how actors and bodies of scientific knowledge participate in performing markets (e.g. Callon, 1998; MacKenzie et al., 2007; Caliskan & Callon, 2009). More recently, the extension of analysis to a broader range of situations has brought to the fore the way that different forms of value emerge (e.g. Helgesson & Kjellberg, 2013; Trompette, 2013; McFall, 2014). At stake is the need to move beyond the Parsonian division of economic and sociological forms of reasoning to permit analysis of the co-presence of different values, e.g. of intimacy, sentiment, aesthetics, sustainability, etc. in economic action.

By addressing markets and valuations together, the sub-theme invites contributions across the range of empirical settings in which devising work takes place. Devising directs attention to the work involved in making and remaking markets and other valuation sites. Practices of reasoning, measurement, judgement, qualification, etc., are historically and contextually variable and this has far-reaching implications for organizations and private lives. The increasing influence of reviews in sites from Amazon to Tripadvisor, the assessment of academic grant bids, the explosion of self-tracking technologies, the algorithmic forms of decision making claimed in digital finance, are examples of emerging conjunctures of reason, reflexivity and responsibility. The focus is on the continuous cycle of enactment and reconstruction and how it shapes agencies, frames situations and formats values. What and who is being valued and to what purposes are matters of public and private concern.

Relevant questions include:

  • How are markets and other sites of valuation devised? What practices are entailed?
  • How does the devising of markets and other valuation sites shape the reflexive and reasoning capacity of agents?
  • Are market and other applications of big data and algorithmic decision-making producing new forms of calculation, reasoning and responsibility?
  • How does devising work incorporate private experience, sentiment and intimacy and to what purposes?
  • What are the possibilities for reflexivity or critique for the continued formatting of and enactment of different values?
  • How do devices and practices of devising travel between different sites and situations and to what effects?
  • What are the limits and consequences of devising and devices?




  • Caliskan, Koray, & Callon, Michel (2009): "Economization, Part 1: Shifting attention from the Economy towards processes of economization." Economy and Society, 38 (3), 369–398.
  • Callon, Michel (ed.) (1998): The Laws of the Markets. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Helgesson, Claes-Fredrik, & Hans Kjellberg (2013): "Values and valuations in market practice." Journal of Cultural Economy, 6 (4), 361–369.
  • MacKenzie, Donald, Muniesa, Fabian, & Siu, Lucia (eds.) (2007): Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • McFall, Liz (2014): Devising Consumption: Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Trompette, Pascale (2013): "The politics of value in French funeral arrangements." Journal of Cultural Economy, 6 (4), 370–385.


Liz McFall is Head of Sociology at the Open University, UK. Her work explores how markets are made especially for 'low finance' products like doorstep insurance and credit. She is the author of "Devising Consumption: Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending" (Routledge, 2014) and co-editor of the 'Journal of Cultural Economy'.
Pascale Trompette is a sociologist, CNRS Senior Research Fellow at the PACTE Laboratory at the University of Grenoble Alpes, France. Her research addresses the interaction process by which market politics, socio-technical arrangements and mundane practices are constantly recombined in market life. Her most recent publications in English appeared in the 'Journal of Cultural Economy', 'Science Studies', and 'Management and Organization History'.
Elena Raviola is Assistant Professor at the Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, and researcher at the Gothenburg Research Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She explores professional work organizing practices in times of technological change, especially in the field of news production. She has explored the relationship between journalism and management as two different ways of framing overflows in news organization. Elena has published in both organization and media journals.