BA: University of Virginia, Spanish and Cognitive Science
MA: Jagiellonian University, Central and Eastern European Studies
Areas of specialization: culture, economic sociology, markets, material culture, materiality, secondhand
"Pricing Trash or Treasure: Technologies and Materialities of the Secondhand Clothing Market"
This project is an investigation into how market tools, materialities, and subjectivities come together in a situation of market exchange to produce value. At the crossroads of economic and cultural sociology, this research contributes to economic sociological understanding of markets and performativity, to empirical research on secondhand markets, and to the material turn in cultural sociology. I argue that rather than seeing the nature of value in a market as fixed, or as socially negotiated, it should be understood as arising in interactions between actors, goods, and market technologies. I focus on the pricing mechanism in Polish secondhand shops to demonstrate how various kinds of goods and their values are “produced” within one market. This project is a case study of thirteen secondhand clothing shops that represent three different price technologies and a variety of different price points, and is based on participant observation and interviews with shop employees, owners, and customers.