Community Lost?

Business Ethics Quarterly 8 (4):655-670 (1998)
Abstract
This paper examines recent communitarian writing about the market. Much of this work explains the loss of community in our times as a result of the expansion of the market and market values. As the market has invaded other domains, such as family andneighborhood, relationships there have become infected by the instability and transience that characterize market relations. Centralto this critique of the market is the view that the market is unable to sustain lasting commitments. This paper tests this hypothesis byexamining the fate of the family—the paradigmatic case of commitment—in three separate historical periods when market orcommercial values were especially dominant. It then extends the analysis to two other component institutions of community—voluntaryand charitable activities. Finally, it examines institutions where so-called market values should presumably hold unchallenged sway,namely in the work place and the marketplace. The paper finds that communitarian values appear to thrive in market society. Instead ofbeing a juggernaut the market may be an endangered species
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