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Scopic valuations: how digital tracking technologies shape economic value
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2016 (English)In: Economy and Society, ISSN 0308-5147, E-ISSN 1469-5766, Vol. 45, no 3-4, 454-478 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How do market actors in the contemporary economy make decisions when they are uncertain of the value of what is being traded? To answer this question, this paper analyses the changing temporal and spatial orientation of economic valuations in increasingly digitalized economies, in which markets can no longer be understood as locally bound and closed sites of valuation and exchange. Drawing on ethnographic material from the fishing industry, the paper shows how digital tracking technologies link and synchronize auction markets with real-time information on fishing activities. Hence, 'scopic media' such as chart plotters and computer screens are not only deployed by skippers to monitor one another, but are also used as valuation devices that recontextualize local knowledge for the purpose of coping with economic uncertainty. As a consequence of this panoptic valuation regime, fishermen control their virtual identities by disciplining harvesting practices according to their buyers' expectations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 45, no 3-4, 454-478 p.
Keyword [en]
valuation, uncertainty, markets, digital technology, scopic media, economization
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-312148DOI: 10.1080/03085147.2016.1224143ISI: 000394966000007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-312148DiVA: diva2:1062301
Funder
EU, European Research Council, ERC 263699-CEV
Available from: 2017-01-05 Created: 2017-01-05 Last updated: 2017-04-27Bibliographically approved

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