Customer Channeling Arrangements in Market Organization : Competition Dynamics in the Funeral Business in France
The problematic of how supply and demand meet on a particular market is at the core of the economic sociology project, which for several years has produced detailed analyses of how judgments of the quality of products and service providers are constructed prior to the exchange relation. Observation of how funeral business services come to be purchased and analysis of competition dynamics on local funeral service markets bring to light certain alternative ways of organizing the marketplace encounter. The article describes the devices used to capture this market, particularly the socio-technical arrangements for channeling customers toward a single service provider. It shows the degree to which provider activity, relations among competitors, and the market regulation game in this sector are structured by the production of an economy of customer capture.