5 Mar 2010 10:30am - 5:30pm CRASSH 17 Mill Lane



Online Registration is now  closed



Value, Worth and Valuation


Interdisciplinary Workshop



The purpose of the workshop is to debate the notions of value, worth and valuation from different disciplinary perspectives. This wants to examine philosophical, anthropological, sociological and political approaches to the question what value is, or what value should be and how it is interlinked processes of valuation and the attribution of worth. The main focus is theoretical; and its consequences possibly political. What are the effects of the domination of commodity values? What are alternative ways of thinking about value? And is there politically progressive potential in rethinking mechanisms of valuation and its underlying concepts that determine what is valuable, rational and legitimate?

Value is a key notion in exchange and few would disagreement with the claim that the “[m]arket has emerged as the most politically significant institution of valuation in the world today” (Gregory, 1997, p. 16). On the market, economic value is revealed through consumers’ subjective preferences. But value does not remain a purely economic concept, but is interlinked with notions of social worth. Individuals, organizations and whole nations are evaluated in terms of their capacity to create value. Orthodox economists and business scholars devote their disciplinary energies to decipher the conundrum of value creation. But what is value and why is something valued? What does economic value mean in terms of individual lives and human flourishing? Against the neo-classical paradigm of rationality, new sociological approaches emphasize that what is seen as valuable, rational or legitimate is constituted by cultural norms (Meyer and Rowan, 1977), or economies of worth which allow for a plurality of value spheres with their own valuation mechanisms (Boltanski and Thévenot, 2006[1991]). Citing Dewey, David Stark draws attention to the double meanings that words of economic value and social worth have in ordinary speech: “praise, prize and price are all derived from the same Latin word; that appreciate and appraise were once used inter-changeably” (Dewey in Stark, 2009).



Following the interdisciplinary mission of the Business & Society Research Group, the workshop provides a forum to connect researchers from different disciplines.

The workshop participation fee is £15.00 and £10.00 for students, registration includes tea/coffee breaks and lunch. Places are limited. Registration online is now closed. 

If you would like to join us for dinner (at own expense), please choose the dinner option when you confirm your place.

Unfortunately,we cannot offer accommodation. 
Hotels near CRASSH include Crowns Plaza, The Royal Cambridge Hotel, Fenners Hotel and Hotel Du Vin

The links bellow provides a list of Hotels and Bed & Breakfast options, also the link “Visitors information” (on the right hand side of this page)






Only for Academics and  Students:




Organizers and Further Inquiries


Vito Laterza

Social Anthropology

University of Cambridge



Juliane Reinecke

Judge Business School

University of Cambridge



André Spicer

Warwick Business School

University of Warwick




CRASSH Business and Society Research Group

The CRASSH Business and Society Research Group aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for researchers investigating the cultures of capitalism and the social and ethical dimensions of organizations, business, and economics.


Boltanski, L. & Thévenot, L., 2006 [1991]. On Justification. Economies of Worth, translated by Catherine Porter Princeton: Princeton University Press.

 Gregory, C., 1997. Savage Money. The Anthropology and Politics of Commodity Exchange, Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.  

Meyer, J.W. & Rowan, B., 1977. Institutionalized organizations: formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83, 340.  

Stark, D., 2009. The Sense of Dissonance: Accounts of Worth in Economic Life, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.




Administrative contact  Esther Lamb (Grad/Fac Programme Manager)


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