9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN09 Economic Sociology

2009-09-05 09:00:00 2009-09-05 10:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 09:00 - 10:30 Faces of Capitalism Building AA, AA.229

Logic of social capital: the formation of market culture and structure

Statement of the problem. The problem of ?living? markets diversity is being examined in the paper. The author intends to show the dynamic mechanism of net structure and market participants? practices by placing them under the context of global and local factors, causing the formation of culture of a certain type.

Methodological base. Our research is based on Bourdieu?s field theory, net theory, the concept of various capital forms, as well as on the ideas about orders of values suggested by French institutional school. Markets are made of fields consisting of interconnected participants? positions, organized in nets. They are regulated by a specific type of culture which is formed under the influence of both global and specific local conditions. Market culture is based on certain value logic, characteristic of different capital forms. This logic determines the means and the aims of struggle; makes market actors work out suitable norms and practices. Market participants? nets are formed and reproduced under the influence of this logic.

Subject. Market as field of socially and economically embedded market actors? positions.

Empirical base. Two regional markets were examined: the market of car spare parts for Japanese cars and the market of computers and office equipment. Relevant statistics was analyzed, 26 businessmen were interviewed, and 400 clients were questioned at each market.

Key statements.
Among global factors influencing markets the following components are singled out: the system of legal relationship, macroeconomic context, administrative status, goods specificity, concepts of control. Local regional conditions: climatic and geographic context, population structure, regional economy, regional culture.

Geographic remoteness and detachment of the region, density of social nets and intensity of cooperation inside of them lead to formation of a specific culture, built on the logic of social capital. The relationship, leading to formation of voluntary mutual obligations, becomes valuable. Reputation, long-term and informal connections with market participants become the main competitive advantages. Companies, possessing larger volume of social capital, acquire the leading role. At the same time each market possesses some specific features in ?interpretation? of social capital logic.