Commodity Studies and Commodity Fetishism II: 'Profits with Principles'?

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The two edited collections and the monograph reviewed here provide the means to consider an extended range of commodities, locations, commodity/value chains, and issues of theory and method in political economy, beyond those presented by Gibbon and Ponte (2005) that we considered in the first part of this essay. Our discussion here touches on issues concerning how ‘global’ global commodity/value chains are; the symbolic attributes of commodities and commodity fetishism; the politics of consumption (or simply politics of selling and buying); the strengths and weaknesses of the economic sociology of commodity/value chains; and how the ‘slices’ extracted from larger organisms in studies of particular commodities may be reinserted, as it were, as part of the understanding of contemporary capitalism and of issues of development in the economies of the ‘South’.