L’intermédiation du marché de l’occasion Échange marchand, confiance et interactions sociales

Abstract : A perspective drawn from economic sociology perspective and grounded in an empirical study of second-hand sporting goods stores is used to examine the “intermediation” of used goods markets and its impacts on building confidence in market relations. A neo-institutional economic interpretation is contrasted with one based on a microsociological approach of a Goffmanian sort. The first lays emphasis on the buildup of market credibility through its analyses of the cognitive and formal arrangements (contractual and technical) for reducing both “market opacity” and the threats of opportunistic behavior by “professionalizing” the behavior of self-improvised salespeople. The second approach shows that such an analysis does not suffice for understanding how concrete relations in the marketplace are maintained. It tries to describe how partners to a transaction, together, produce confidence by using their social skills and displaying signs of honesty through the way they let the quality of secondhand goods be evaluated. The two approaches converge, however, in that they recognize the limits of analyses in terms of personal networks and agree that the determinants of economic transactions are impersonal. A call is made for studies to pay closer attention to social relations in the marketplace and focus on how the latter are depersonalized.
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Pascal Chantelat, Bénédicte Vignal. L’intermédiation du marché de l’occasion Échange marchand, confiance et interactions sociales. Sociologie du Travail, Elsevier Masson, 2002, 44 (3), pp.315-336. ⟨10.1016/S0038-0296(02)01236-0⟩. ⟨hal-02351536⟩



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