Commodity Studies with Polanyi: Disembedding and re-embedding labour and land in contemporary capitalism

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


This article aims to inform current debates in the field of transnational commodity studies through a Polanyian lens. Polanyi reminds us of the need to pay attention to the “double movements” in which fictitious commodities are disembedded from and re-embedded in society. We focus on two fictitious commodities, labour and land, which are conventionally treated as mere inputs for the production of genuine commodities. Through investigating the disembedding and re-embedding of labour in the garment industry, and of land in the agro-food sector since the 1970s, we gain insights regarding the commodification of fictitious commodities in the context of transnational commodity chains. The developments in both fields imply not just simple double movements, but complex entanglements of disembedding and re-embedding dynamics at the interface of state, business and civil society actors.
Titel in ÜbersetzungWarenstudien mit Polanyi: Entbettung und Wiedereinbettung von Arbeit und Land im aktuellen Kapitalismus
ZeitschriftÖsterreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie
Seiten (von - bis)209-223
Anzahl der Seiten15
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 03.06.2019
Extern publiziertJa


  • Betriebswirtschaftslehre - Agro-food industry, Commodity chains, Fictitious commodities, Garment industry, Global production networks