Close window
 MPIfG Books



Patrik Aspers
Orderly Fashion
A Sociology of Markets

Princeton University Press, 2010
240 pages | ISBN 978-1-4008-3518-8 | $35.00
Order book directly from Princeton University Press.
Introduction [PDF]



Abstract | Contents | Author




For any market to work properly, certain key elements are necessary: competition, pricing, rules, clearly defined offers, and easy access to information. Without these components, there would be chaos. Orderly Fashion examines how order is maintained in the different interconnected consumer, producer, and credit markets of the global fashion industry. From retailers in Sweden and the United Kingdom to producers in India and Turkey, Patrik Aspers focuses on branded garment retailers – chains such as Gap, H&M, Old Navy, Topshop, and Zara. Aspers investigates these retailers' interactions and competition in the consumer market for fashion garments, traces connections between producer and consumer markets, and demonstrates why market order is best understood through an analysis of its different forms of social construction.
Emphasizing consumption rather than production, Aspers considers the larger retailers' roles as buyers in the production market of garments, and as potential objects of investment in financial markets. He shows how markets overlap and intertwine and he defines two types of markets – status markets and standard markets. In status markets, market order is related to the identities of the participating actors more than the quality of the goods, whereas in standard markets the opposite holds true.
Looking at how identities, products, and values create the ordered economic markets of the global fashion business, Orderly Fashion has wide implications for all modern markets, regardless of industry.



Introduction [PDF]
Chapter 1 Garment Sellers in Consumer Markets
Identity – Market Differentiation – Types of Sellers – Competition and Cooperation – Splitting and Fusing Markets – Summary
Chapter 2 Affordable Fashion
Identities of Branded Garment Retailers – Retailers' Customers – Consumption and Identity – Price and Garments – Fashion – Fashion and Power – Identity Management – The Culture of the Market – Status Order – Summary
Chapter 3 Entrenching Identities
Performance Control – Relations of Identities – Summary
Chapter 4 Branded Garment Retailers in the Production Market
Design and Fashion – Finding Manufacturers – Competition among Retailers – The Product – Retailers' Identities – Summary
Chapter 5 Manufacturing Garments in the Global Market
The Industry from the Perspective of the Manufacturers – The Production Process – Identity Differentiation and Strategies – Price and Global Competition – The Market Culture – Order Out of Standard – Summary
Chapter 6 Branded Garment Retailers in the Investment Market
Approaching Financial Markets – Retailers’ Identities in Investor Markets – The Stock Market and Its Value – Trading Fashion Stocks – Evaluation of Stocks – Economic Evaluation – Summary
Chapter 7 Markets as Partial Orders
Discussion of the Study – Partial Orders



Patrik Aspers is associate professor of sociology at Stockholm University. Aspers was a research fellow at the MPIfG from 2005 to 2009.

Close window