Conflitto sociale e incomparabilità dei beni (Social conflict and incomparability of goods)
AbstractAccording to mainstream economics, rational agents choose among alternatives that are supposed to be ranked and compared. This assumption is strongly criticized by sociologists and anthropologists; it may partly hold true only when the commercial transactions sphere establishes a uniform measure: money. But what happens when a community compares social goods supplied by different institutional spheres? The rigorous equalization of any rate of exchange is replaced by a system of conventional equivalences. This system is temporary, since it changes as collective beliefs evolve; it is conflictual, because the "rates of conversion" between social goods often express relations of power among the groups themselves; and finally it is unstable, because individuals tend to develop private "rates of conversion” that are different from the collective ones. This system, despite its fragility, is a crucial tool of reproduction of a complex society. This essay discusses and analyzes some aspects of the issue.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Economia e Dell'Impresa in its series Working Papers Series with number wp2008_02.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Incomparability; Rational Choice; Money; Conflict; Participation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-15 (All new papers)
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