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A Case Study of the Social Construction of Two Flea Markets and Their Relationships to the Cash Underground Economy: Socio-cultural Impact on Institutionalizing and Organizing Economic Activity in an Informal Setting

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Abstract:

This paper discusses the social construction of order in the informal economy. The case study involves two very large and successful flea markets in the New York metropolitan area and their source of successful acquisitions of goods and services in the informal economy or as I call it - the cash underground economy. It demonstrates the socio-cultural influences on economic behavior from an interactionist perspective. As such, it seeks to demonstrate Durkheim’s axiom: there can be no economics without pre-established cultural norms, the concepts of contract, and the moral sentiments and social understandings as underpinnings for economic action. Concepts as trust, reciprocity, mutual dependencies, cooperation, common agreements that are embedded in culture, are explored from a human centered approach.

Lastly, it allows for a re-examination of some of the fundamental postulates of neoclassical economic theory such as an economy and business transactions as being separate from society and ‘outside influences’, consisting of atomistic individuals relating as lone individuals coldly calculating and maximizing their own utility. Quite the contrary view is described here. The rich, contextual, multifaceted, interpersonal qualities of exchange are established. How these recurrent expectations and concerns of economic actors get organized into roles and relationships is the focus of this paper.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

market (73), econom (54), social (41), flea (39), economi (36), busi (29), inform (27), individu (22), one (21), vendor (19), two (18), cash (18), relat (17), work (17), activ (16), underground (16), exchang (13), organ (13), societi (12), sociolog (12), embed (12),

Author's Keywords:

flea markets, informal economy, socio-cultual impact
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

Abrams, Les. "A Case Study of the Social Construction of Two Flea Markets and Their Relationships to the Cash Underground Economy: Socio-cultural Impact on Institutionalizing and Organizing Economic Activity in an Informal Setting" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City, Aug 11, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182813_index.html>

APA Citation:

Abrams, L. , 2007-08-11 "A Case Study of the Social Construction of Two Flea Markets and Their Relationships to the Cash Underground Economy: Socio-cultural Impact on Institutionalizing and Organizing Economic Activity in an Informal Setting" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182813_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper discusses the social construction of order in the informal economy. The case study involves two very large and successful flea markets in the New York metropolitan area and their source of successful acquisitions of goods and services in the informal economy or as I call it - the cash underground economy. It demonstrates the socio-cultural influences on economic behavior from an interactionist perspective. As such, it seeks to demonstrate Durkheim’s axiom: there can be no economics without pre-established cultural norms, the concepts of contract, and the moral sentiments and social understandings as underpinnings for economic action. Concepts as trust, reciprocity, mutual dependencies, cooperation, common agreements that are embedded in culture, are explored from a human centered approach.

Lastly, it allows for a re-examination of some of the fundamental postulates of neoclassical economic theory such as an economy and business transactions as being separate from society and ‘outside influences’, consisting of atomistic individuals relating as lone individuals coldly calculating and maximizing their own utility. Quite the contrary view is described here. The rich, contextual, multifaceted, interpersonal qualities of exchange are established. How these recurrent expectations and concerns of economic actors get organized into roles and relationships is the focus of this paper.

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