Games of Civility: Ordinary Ethics in Aleppo’s Bazaar
Taylor & Francis
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Anderson, P. (2019). Games of Civility: Ordinary Ethics in Aleppo’s Bazaar. Ethnos, 84 (3), 380-397. https://doi.org/10.1080/00141844.2018.1551238
Bazaars are often seen as a type of market where there is little scope to engage in moral behaviour. Yet salesmen in Aleppo’s bazaar before the current conflict were not amoral actors who related to their customers in narrowly instrumental ways. Drawing on the perspective of ordinary ethics, this article argues that their salesmanship was infused with ethical dimensions. Aspects of their salesmanship such as flirtation and forceful bargaining were seen as morally questionable in some quarters of the bazaar. But I argue for a perspective of ordinary ethics in which the ethical is both dissolved into and an emergent aspect of a dialogic process in which aspects of the person – desires, intentions, stances – are constituted and recognised. Whatever positions they took on the “morality” of bargaining, most traders regarded a refusal to enter into any kind of dialogic construction of the sale as a failure of civility.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00141844.2018.1551238
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/288172