Accueil > English Supplement > Volume 47, Supplement 1 > Quality : a debate - C. Musselin, C. Paradeise

Quality : a debate - C. Musselin, C. Paradeise

Christine Musselin
Centre de Sociologie des Organisations (CSO-FNSP-CNRS), 19, rue Amelie, 75007 Paris, France

Catherine Paradeise
Laboratoire Territoires, Techniques, Sociétés (LATTS–Université de Marne La Vallée, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées–CNRS), Cité Descartes, 77420 Champs sur Marne, France

Available online 13 December 2005 on ScienceDirect

Over the last 20 years, major innovations in the French social sciences emerged from focusing on quality and qualification (of work, of products, of technical and management tools, etc.). It opened new ways to conceptualize social and economic exchanges. Our journal offers a tribune for further elaboration, from different disciplinary perspectives. Christine Musselin and Catherine Paradeise present a brief review and raise three questions. 1) how are attributes of quality defined and evaluated ? 2) What types of intermediation link supply and demand and how far do both interact ; 3) How is price set in quality-based economic exchange ? Five social scientists provide personal answers to these questions. Two are sociologists (Michel Callon, Lucien Karpik), two are economists (François Eymard-Duvernay, Jean Gadrey), one is an historian (Alessandro Stanziani).

Article Outline

  • 1. The concept of quality : a brief historical review in the French social sciences and three questions (Christine Musselin and Catherine Paradeise)
    • 1.1. History of the concept
    • 1.2. Questions
    • 1.2.1. Uncertainty and qualities
    • 1.2.2. Intermediation
    • 1.2.3. Quality and price
  • 2. Let’s Put an End on Uncertainties9 (Michel Callon)
    • 2.1. Uncertainties and quality/ies
    • 2.2. Intermediation
    • 2.3. Quality/ies and price
  • 3. Qualifying goods (François Eymard-Duvernay)
    • 3.1. Why a labour economist became interested in qualification of goods in the late 1980s
    • 3.2. A research program for studying goods and labour qualification
    • 3.3. Are qualifications dissolvable in networks ?
  • 4. Ten theses for a socio-economics of product quality (Jean Gadrey)
    • 4.1. The context : producing and managing uncertainty in the post-Fordist period
    • 4.2. Five theses on the economics of quality
    • 4.3. Operational frameworks for a socio-economics of quality : four theses
  • 5. What is to be done with singularities ? (Lucien Karpik)
    • 5.1. The limits and limitations of neoclassical theory
    • 5.2. The legacy of Karl Polanyi
    • 5.3. Products, actors, and forms of market embeddedness
    • 5.4. Price formation
    • 5.5. Conclusion
  • 6. Products, norms, and historical dynamics (Alessandro Stanziani)
    • 6.1. Information and conventions
    • 6.2. Coordination vs hierarchy
    • 6.3. Legal rules and informal agreements
    • 6.4. Historians’ idea of quality
    • 6.5. Toward an economic and legal history
    • 6.6. Litigation and economics of quality in context : the wine market in the nineteenth century
  • References

Sociologie du Travail
Volume 47, Supplement 1, December 2005, Pages e89–e123
Translation by Amy Jacobs