1st Edition

The Routledge International Handbook of Valuation and Society

Edited By Anne Krüger, Thorsten Peetz, Hilmar Schaefer Copyright 2025
    384 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge International Handbook of Valuation and Society builds on the growing research interest in practices of valuation throughout contemporary society, providing an up-to-date overview of the different facets of research in the sociology of valuation. 

    The handbook is divided into five major sections with attention to the treatment of valuation in major areas of sociological theory, as well as its key concepts, discourses, and approaches: 

    Part I: Theoretical perspectives

    Part II: Central valuation practices in societal spheres

    Part III: Cross-cutting valuation practices

    Part IV: Valuation and societal change

    Part V: Reflections


    Together, the chapters in this book characterize distinctive practices of valuation across different societal spheres, such as education and science, arts and culture, economic life, the environment or digital culture and social media. They also examine the role of valuation in contemporary society and consider the ways it effects social change. 

    This seminal handbook aims at taking stock of the development of the study of valuation with a selection of topics that are important for understanding core perspectives and developments as well as anticipating its future orientation. It will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interest in the ubiquity of the valuation practices and its effects on social life.

    Introduction, Anne K. Krüger and Thorsten Peetz 

    Part I: Theoretical perspectives 

    1. Classifications, the sacred, and moral individualism. Durkheimian perspectives on valuation, Frithjof Nungesser

    2. Anthropological perspectives on value and valuation, Ton Otto

    3. The rise of a French pragmatic sociology of values, Nathalie Heinich

    4. On STS and valuation, Malte Ziewitz

    5. Relinquishing value: Aristotle and the substances of institutional practice, Roger Friedland

    6. Value(s) and (e)valuation in sociological systems theories, Bettina Mahlert

    7. The ‘new’ sociology of knowledge and the sociology of valuation, Stefan Nicolae 

    Part II: Central valuation practices in societal spheres 

    II.a. Economic Valuation 

    8. Economic valuation, Patrik Aspers and Alexander Dobeson 

    9. Where the value is: Accounting and the spatialization of worth, Hendrik Vollmer, Per Ahblom, and Emilia Cederberg 

    10. Rethinking value through waste: About devaluation and society, Stefan Laser


    II.b. Valuation in education and science 

    11. The panopticon of evaluation in educational organizations, Herbert Kalthoff and Kornelia Engert 

    12. Research on research evaluation: From particularism to synthesis, Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner 

    13. Competition and valuation in science and higher education, Frank Meier 

    14. How evaluations fail: Investigating scientific misconduct, Felicitas Hesselmann


    II.c. Valuation in arts and culture 

    15. Valuation practices in the visual arts, Michael Hutter 

    16. What is good music? Distinction and valuation in music worlds, Oliver Berli 

    17. What makes a book “good”? New perspectives on literary evaluation, Phillipa K. Chong and Gillian Gualtieri


    Part III: Cross-cutting valuation practices 

    III.a. Valuation of human beings 

    18. Self-optimization, Anja Röcke 

    19. (A) Being worth it? Self-worth and self-(e)valuation within Valuation Studies, Sandra Matthäus 

    20. Social inequality – A neglected topic in studies of valuation and evaluation? Stefan Beljean and Julian Hamann


    III.b. Digital valuation 

    21. Algorithms and valuation: In search of a means to get beyond opacity, Daniel Neyland and Sveta Milyaeva 

    22. Digital surveillance and valuation in datafied societies, Sachil Singh 

    23. Valuation and digital platforms, Jonathan Kropf and Thomas Frisch 

    24. The social logics of platform units: A brief history of valuation practices online, Johannes Paßmann


    Part IV: Valuation and societal change 

    25. Economization: Valuation and the boundaries of valuation games, Thorsten Peetz 

    26. Risky values: Seeing risk through the lens of Valuation Studies, Natalia Besedovsky 

    27. Valuation and sustainability, Lisa Knoll 

    28. Datafied and (e)valuated – Datafication as driver of contingent (e)valuation, Karoline Krenn and Anne K. Krüger 

    29. The amateurization of valuation in the digital age, Désirée Waibel 

    30. Worlds of rankings research, Jelena Brankovic


    Part V: Reflections 

    31. Reflections on the emergence of a research field: An interview with Michèle Lamont, Anne K. Krüger and Thorsten Peetz 



    Anne Krüger is head of the research group “Reorganization of knowledge practices” at Weizenbaum Institute Berlin, Germany.

    Thorsten Peetz is Interim Professor of Sociological Theory at the University of Bamberg, Germany.

    Hilmar Schäfer was Visiting Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.