Markets are trading zones

John Finch and Susi Geiger

in Reconnecting Marketing to Markets

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199578061
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738043 | DOI:
Markets are trading zones

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This chapter applies the concept of the trading zone to markets. It does so in order to highlight the multiple material, linguistic, and interpretative dimensions of actors' organizing, trading, buying, and selling work, which they normally undertake to secure an exchange. The trading zones also highlight the multiple areas of conflict, miscomprehension, or incommensurability that may arise between buyers and sellers in markets. Drawing on extant descriptions of how different firms interact with customers, the chapter addresses the question ‘how is trade accomplished’, especially given incommensurability between buyers and sellers, which can be manifest in cultural, linguistic, socio-technical, or material terms. The chapter then develops this book's overall agenda of emphasizing socio-material practices in market spaces by arguing that in some markets the material continuity observed may conceal discontinuities in associated socio-cultural practices, especially around buyers' and sellers' sense-making and negotiation of the meanings of exchanges.

Keywords: trading zone; incommensurability; meanings of exchange; conflict

Chapter.  8881 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Marketing

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