The collection explores how sentiment and relations are organised in consumer markets. Social studies of economies and markets have much more to offer than simply adding some ‘context’, ‘culture’ or ‘soul’ to the analysis of economic practices. As this collection showcases, studying markets socially reveals how attachments between people and products are engineered and can explain how, and why, they fail. The contributors explore the tools and techniques used to work with sentiment, aesthetics and relationships through strategies including social media marketing, consumer research, algorithmic profiling, personal selling, and call centre and relationship management. The arts of attachment, as the various contributions demonstrate, play a crucial but often misunderstood role in the technical and organisational functioning of markets.
"This important collection revisits the vexed question of attachment and how it works in market contexts. Are attachments constraining or sustaining customers? Are they manipulative or emancipatory? Beyond such active/passive dichotomies, the authors use a bold range of tools and cases to show how the attachments between people and their things are orchestrated through sentiment, kinship, technique, devices, bodies, practice and more. Using cases including the Apple Watch, payday lending, internet dating and call centres, the authors reveal the elaborate tricks that markets and their customers play on each other."
- Antoine Hennion, Professor of Sociology, École des Mines de Paris, formerly Director of the Center for Sociology of Innovation (CSI)
"Why do people get attached to products? The authors perceive the arts and devices surrounding human attachment as key drivers of contemporary markets. This inspiring and pioneering book offers multiple explanations full of rich discussions on inquiry and reflexivity, categories and valuation, ties, marketing agendas, digital economy, culture and sentiments, among others. It also provides a wide array of advanced theories and research techniques with detailed empirical results. It pushes the academic frontiers of economics and sociology as from assemblages of agency or dynamic interactions of agents and products. A must-read for researchers and practitioners alike!"
- Tsotumo Nakano, Professor of Organizations, Corporate Strategy and International Management, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo
Introduction: Markets and the Arts of Attachment, (Liz McFall, Franck Cochoy, Joe Deville)
Afterword: The Devices of Attachment, (Michel Callon)
This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.
We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:
The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.