Introduction: Toward a cultural analysis of labelling systems
AbstractThe student papers that are published in this report probe the proliferation of product labels from a cultural science perspective, and thereby aim to contribute to a critical public debate on this development. Instead of seeing labels as conveyors of neutral technical information that provide consumers with a rational base for their market decisions, they seek to “open the black box” of labelling. What have been the guiding economic and political narratives through which labelling has been promoted and legitimised as a technology of market governance? Which institutions and actors have been involved in the process of labelling and how have they shaped the scope and content of labelling information? How do labels achieve and maintain trust among their target audiences? And finally, how do targeted firms as well as consumers “read” labels and integrate them into their own action repertoires and moral identities?
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