Market formation, social movements and judgement devices: Creating the organic food market in Australia

Michael Gilding, Lee Glezos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A substantial literature demonstrates how social movements pioneer new economic spaces, engaging in activities that create the conditions for new markets. This article applies this insight to the creation of the organic food market in Australia. In doing so, it makes three contributions. First, it highlights the importance of judgement devices – notably a certification scheme – in the making of this market, given that organic and non-organic produce are visually indistinguishable. Second, it describes how judgement devices for organic foods draw commodity markets for mainstream agricultural foods into the symbolic realm, where health, ethical and aesthetic considerations inform value. Third, it demonstrates the socio-political construction of judgement devices, over and above their functional purposes. Specifically, it describes the struggle between challenger social movements and incumbent businesses in creating and promoting competing judgement devices directed towards the designation of value in new markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-342
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Sociology
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • economic sociology
  • judgement devices
  • market formation
  • organic food
  • social movements
  • sociology of markets

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