Experimental failure: Notes on the limits of the performativity of markets

Marres, Noortje and McGoey, Linsey. 2012. 'Experimental failure: Notes on the limits of the performativity of markets'. In: After Markets: Researching Hybrid Arrangements. Oxford Said Business School, United Kingdom. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract or Description

In a context of proliferating crises, from the environment to the economy, the politics and epistemology of “failure” – institutional, human, technological, environmental – is acquiring fresh relevance. Recent analyses in social studies of science and technology, as well as in political and economic sociology, have developed performative perspectives on this issue, and much of this work has focused on ‘market experiments.’ In this article, we suggest that these performative perspectives on market experiments suffer from some of the same shortcomings as market experiments themselves: they are biased towards success, and limited in their ability to acknowledge failure. Here, we seek to address this shortcoming by developing a three-fold typology. Adopting an expansive notion of experiments in political economy, we argue that an adequate analysis requires further interrogation of the multifaceted nature of experimental failure, in particular of its alternatively restrictive and generative aspects. In order to explore the diverse, overlapping, and often paradoxical effects of experimental failures – such as the way that failures can both create and diminish opportunities to challenge the authority of existent political and economic frameworks – we distinguish three types of failure: 1) entropic failure; 2) generative failure; and 3) performative failure.

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Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

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2012["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

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Oxford Said Business School, United Kingdom

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Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2012 22:55

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:46



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