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Orderly Fashion: A Sociology of Markets

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Overview

For any market to work properly, certain key elements are necessary: competition, pricing, rules, clearly defined offers, and easy access to information. Without these components, there would be chaos. Orderly Fashion examines how order is maintained in the different interconnected consumer, producer, and credit markets of the global fashion industry. From retailers in Sweden and the United Kingdom to producers in India and Turkey, Patrik Aspers focuses on branded garment retailers—chains such as Gap, H&M, Old Navy, Topshop, and Zara. Aspers investigates these retailers' interactions and competition in the consumer market for fashion garments, traces connections between producer and consumer markets, and demonstrates why market order is best understood through an analysis of its different forms of social construction.

Emphasizing consumption rather than production, Aspers considers the larger retailers' roles as buyers in the production market of garments, and as potential objects of investment in financial markets. He shows how markets overlap and intertwine and he defines two types of markets—status markets and standard markets. In status markets, market order is related to the identities of the participating actors more than the quality of the goods, whereas in standard markets the opposite holds true.

Looking at how identities, products, and values create the ordered economic markets of the global fashion business, Orderly Fashion has wide implications for all modern markets, regardless of industry.

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Editorial Reviews

Open Economics
I do hope that economists read this book and realize the potential that such descriptive analysis holds.
— Nick Krafft
Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences
Aspers enlightens readers about the intricacies of the workings of the global fashion market. He has accomplished what he set out to do, to bring together economic, sociological, and fashion theory.
— Wanda K. Cheek
European Economic Sociology Newsletter
[T]his is a very stimulating, well researched and well-written book, which deserves to be read by those interested in fashion, economic sociology and/or sociology in general.
— David Dequech
Open Economics - Nick Krafft
I do hope that economists read this book and realize the potential that such descriptive analysis holds.
Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences - Wanda K. Cheek
Aspers enlightens readers about the intricacies of the workings of the global fashion market. He has accomplished what he set out to do, to bring together economic, sociological, and fashion theory.
European Economic Sociology Newsletter - David Dequech
[T]his is a very stimulating, well researched and well-written book, which deserves to be read by those interested in fashion, economic sociology and/or sociology in general.
From the Publisher
"I do hope that economists read this book and realize the potential that such descriptive analysis holds."—Nick Krafft, Open Economics

"Aspers enlightens readers about the intricacies of the workings of the global fashion market. He has accomplished what he set out to do, to bring together economic, sociological, and fashion theory."—Wanda K. Cheek, Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences

"[T]his is a very stimulating, well researched and well-written book, which deserves to be read by those interested in fashion, economic sociology and/or sociology in general."—David Dequech, European Economic Sociology Newsletter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691141572
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/26/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrik Aspers is associate professor of sociology at Stockholm University. He is the author of "Markets in Fashion".

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction 1

The Aims of the Book 4

Order 5

Outline of the Book 9

Chapter 1 Garment Sellers in Consumer Markets 11

Identity 12

Market Differentiation 13

Types of Sellers 19

Competition and Cooperation 26

Splitting and Fusing Markets 31

Summary 33

Chapter 2 Affordable Fashion 34

Identities of Branded Garment Retailers 35

Retailers' Customers 40

Consumption and Identity 43

Price and Garments 46

Fashion 49

Fashion and Power 54

Identity Management 55

The Culture of the Market 57

Status Order 58

Summary 60

Chapter 3 Entrenching Identities 62

Performance Control 63

Relations of Identities 89

Summary 91

Chapter 4 Branded Garment Retailers in the Production Market 94

Design and Fashion 95

Finding Manufacturers 102

Competition among Retailers 112

The Product 117

Retailers' Identities 123

Summary 123

Chapter 5 Manufacturing Garments in the Global Market 125

The Industry from the Perspective of the Manufacturers 126

The Production Process 131

Identity Differentiation and Strategies 136

Price and Global Competition 138

The Market Culture 142

Order Out of Standard 144

Summary 145

Chapter 6 Branded Garment Retailers in the Investment Market 147

Approaching Financial Markets 148

Retailers' Identities in Investor Markets 149

The Stock Market and Its Value 150

Trading Fashion Stocks 155

Evaluation of Stocks 156

Economic Evaluation 158

Summary 162

Chapter 7 Markets as Partial Orders 165

Discussion of the Study 165

Partial Orders 171

Appendix I Empirical Material and Methods 175

Appendix II Garment Trade Statistics 181

Appendix III The Garment Industry 185

Appendix IV Economic Sociology 191

Appendix V Fashion Theory and Research 195

Notes 201

References 213

Index 235

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