What is the animating 'spirit' behind what may appear to be the coldly calculating world of markets and business enterprise? Though often mathematically modelled in dry terms, markets can be looked at instead as meaningful domains of human activity. To economists, markets have been seen as nothing but objective 'forces' or allocation 'mechanisms'. This book, however, argues that they can be seen as involving the human spirit, personal expression and moral commitments. It presents the view that markets are not so much things that need to be measured as meanings that need to be narrated and interpreted. The aim of this book is to introduce two scholarly fields to one another, economics and cultural studies, in order to pose the question: how does culture matter to the economy? When we look at the economy as a legitimate domain of culture, it transforms our understanding of the nature of business life. By viewing markets as an integral part of our culture, filled with the drama of human creativity, we might begin to better appreciate their role in the world.

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