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The Three Spheres of Society - Markets, Governments, and Communities - Related to Fiske's Four Relational Modes:Modeled in dynamic balance explaining why social goods are more important than social capital

Wicks, Rick, 1946- (författare)
Göteborgs universitet, Institutionen för nationalekonomi med statistik, Gothenburg University, Department of Economics
Göteborgs universitet Handelshögskolan. Institutionen för nationalekonomi med statistik. 
Göteborg : Göteborg University, 2008
Serie: Working Papers in Economics (online), 1403-2465 ; 292
  • Rapport (övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract Ämnesord
  • Social scientists, journalists, and others typically refer to three social "spheres": markets, governments, and communities - whether based on kinship, location, or belief. This taxonomy is here related to Fiske's (1991) relational modes (RMs): Community-Sharing, Authority-Ranking, Equality-Matching, and Market-Pricing, which display fundamental cumulative mathematical characteristics, and develop spontaneously in children (regardless of the emphasis in the surrounding culture); in the same order; and at about the same ages. CS identifies communities, while EM adds an alternative mode of community resource-transfer (fairness, equality). Governments and markets apparently differentiated from the primordial community sphere to express other modes: AR in governments, and MP in markets. Each sphere is assumed to have an essential core, beyond which it can expand if and as other spheres shrink. In the long run, the size of each sphere may reflect changing social, psychological, and physical (including information) technologies; changing cultural preferences for the private, public, and social goods (and social capital) produced in the three spheres; and some resulting meta-economic efficiency. In the short to medium run, however, the outcome depends on human will and choice in evaluating uncertain information about technologies, preferences, and efficiency. The outcome can thus be influenced by ideology, including through the application of inappropriate RMs. Communities produce social goods, including a sense of identity, meaning, and purpose; feelings of kindness, companionship, and love; and much more. Although social goods can be private, they are inherently non-marketable, so they are distinct from typical private goods. Similarly, although social goods can be public, most cannot be produced by governments, so they are distinct from typical public goods. Analogously to physical capital, social capital ? also produced by communities - can be understood as a factor of production of either private or public goods. Valuing social capital instrumentally (an MP value), as recent economic theory has done, can thus be destructive of the source of social capital, communities. Economic theory - and economists - could contribute to the maintenance and development of this third sphere of communities and social goods by simply acknowledging its distinct RMs and its omission from their usual analyses.


SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP  -- Ekonomi och näringsliv -- Nationalekonomi (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES  -- Economics and Business -- Economics (hsv//eng)


meta-economic efficiency
social taxonomy

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