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Trust and the Performative Construction of Markets

  • Beckert, Jens

The concept of trust has recently been rediscovered, especially in the fields of economic sociology and organization theory. Nevertheless, the actual functioning of trust in markets has only been understood incompletely up to now. As this paper argues, one reason for this is that conceptualizations of trust have focused primarily on the decision-making process of the trust-giver. The contribution of the trust-taker, however, has not been comprehensively investigated. I propose understanding trust as a tranquilizer in market relations that is partly produced in the situation itself by the performative acts of self-presentation of the trust-taker. On the basis of a taxonomy of four strategies, the final part of the paper demonstrates the consequences that result for the understanding of the functioning of markets from this conceptualization of trust relations.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 05/8.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:058
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