PD Dr. Patrik Aspers
General InterestsMy research revolves around the economy, which is the arena I have chosen for my empirical studies. I am especially interested in markets where the economy intersects with the aesthetic sphere. In this field I have studied the role of fashion. The general aim of my research is theory development, and the idea is to analyze markets as social formation that are partial orders within the economic sphere. It is my assumption that theory development is accomplished by empirical research. The approach of my research is phenomenological, and a consequence is that I often use ethnographic methods. Another consequence is that I think it is important to ground sociological research in philosophical thinking.
(See the ongoing research projects)
In the past I have written on philosophical aspects of theory construction, classical social scientists, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Marshall and Vilfredo Pareto, as well as on virtues. One larger study, on the markets for fashion photographs, was presented in a book, Markets in Fashion ( 2005). I am currently working on a larger project on the global garment industry. This project addresses construction and order in consumer market as well as in producer markets. The global dimension and sourcing pattern are key questions in this project, but also ethical consumption of garments is studied.
I am especially interested in the following areas: