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Just a Job?Communication, Ethics, and Professional Life$
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George Cheney, Dan Lair, Dean Ritz, and Brenden Kendall

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182774

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182774.001.0001

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Seeking Something More in the Market

Seeking Something More in the Market

(p.197) 6 Seeking Something More in the Market
Just a Job?

George Cheney (Contributor Webpage)

Daniel J. Lair

Dean Ritz

Brenden E. Kendall

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on ethics at the market level, arguing that, contrary to popular wisdom, the market is not amoral. In typical contemporary framings, the market is presumed to be both inherently good-as in, the best way to do business and organize society-and yet amoral, in terms of bracketing out or holding at bay ethical judgments. The chapter includes a detailed discussion of the meanings of the market in everyday talk in addition to including accounts of historical and contemporary cases where the presumed “super-agency” of the market led people and societies astray. The chapter also reviews relevant research on happiness, especially as it bears on conceptions of economic productivity and success. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the possibilities for the ethical reform of the market through making visible what we mean when we invoke the term “market.”

Keywords:   Adam Smith, Consumerism, Economy, Ethics, Happiness, Language, Market, Virtue

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