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996023 Production or Consumption? Deconstructing a Guiding Difference of Modernity (BS) (WiSe 2017/2018)

Inhalt, Kommentar

The renaissance of heterodox approaches in economic history over the last decades has significantly enlarged the scope of this field. This trend mainly benefits from the cultural and social sciences and has fostered research on phenomena that cut across the classic schemes of economics. For instance, various studies focus on raw materials and industrial products such as chocolate, dyes, coffee, and cotton, to name only a few. Others follow nonhuman actants on their transnational pathways. Drawing on new institutional economics, scholars also analyze the role that nomenclatures and expectancies of actors play in the establishment and stabilization of large supply networks or commodity chains. Despite these efforts, the conceptual pair of production and consumption is still structuring popular sociological and historiographical narratives to a large degree. Against this background, the seminar not only aims at deconstructing and historicizing the theoretical implications of this guiding difference of modernity by taking at a close look at some of its historical and present aspects. We also ask to what extent is has influenced – an still influences – economic activities themselves. The topics to be discussed may include e.g. classical and neoclassical economic theory, the policy worlds of (illicit) drugs markets, or the opposition of consumer society and work society.

Preliminary program

Tuesday, January 16
Introduction (10.15-10.45h)

Part I. How the guiding difference was established in economic thought

Session 1 (10.45-12.15h): Theories value in early modern and classical thought
• Land as the source of value in physiocratic thought: Cantillon 1755, ch. 1-13
• Labor and production-side theories of value: Smith 1776, vol. I, book I, ch. V, pp. 44-50 and vol. II, book II, ch. III (pp. 1-33)

Session 2 (13.15-15.15h): From apologies of consumption to the guiding difference?
• Early modern apologies of (domestic) consumption: Appleby 1976
• Traces of the guiding difference in classical thought: Smith 1776, vol. II, book IV, ch. III, part II (pp. 241-258) and ch. VIII, pp. 534-537
• Marx's circular theory of production and consumption: Marx 1857-61, Einleitung (German version), sections I.1 and I.2

Session 3 (15.30-17.30h): Theorizing consumerism: Marginalism, equilibrium theory, and early sociology of consumption
• Marginalism and consumerism: Birken 1988
• General equilibrium theory: Marshall 1890, book V, ch. I-III, < brary/Marshall/marP28.html#Bk.V,Ch.I>
• Sociology of consumption: Coffin 1999

Wednesday, January 17
Part II. The guiding difference in the 20th and 21st centuries: From fortification to transgres- sion?

Session 4 (10.15-12.15h): “Consumerist-productivist” societies
• work, consumption, and the division of time: Cross 1993
• the growth paradigm: Schmelzer 2015
• Capital, labor, and consumption as objects of taxation: Godar/Truger 2017 (introduction by Aanor Roland)

Session 5 (13.15-15.15h): Production, labor, and consumption in historiography and socioloy
• Industrious vs. industrial revolution: De Vries 1994
• From work to consumption/work as consumption: Bauman 2007, introduction (pp. to be de- fined)
• Consumption as production in “prosumer” economies: Input by Anna Maria Komprecht
• Deconstructing consumption: Graeber 2011, pp. 489-502

Session 6 (15.30-17.30h): Beyond the guiding difference?
• Gift, donation, or “civic property”: Swanson 2014, Conclusion
• From supply chains to actor-network-theory: Lockie/Kitto 2000
• Theories of a circular economy: Hobson/Lynch 2016


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Studiengang/-angebot Gültigkeit Variante Untergliederung Status Sem. LP  
Bielefeld Graduate School In History And Sociology / Promotion Theory and Methods Classes   0.5 Theory Class  
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