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Situated InterventionSociological Experiments in Health Care$
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Teun Zuiderent-Jerak

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029384

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029384.001.0001

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The Qualities of Competition

The Qualities of Competition

Reconfiguring Health Care Markets

(p.117) 4 The Qualities of Competition
Situated Intervention

Teun Zuiderent-Jerak

The MIT Press

This chapter deals with possibilities for sociology in enacting emerging healthcare markets. Drawing on research on the development of situated standardization through process redesign in a national healthcare quality collaborative, it analyzes the possibilities for enacting healthcare markets as value- rather than cost-saving driven. Though this project was initially largely successful, sociological interventions in the construction of markets may prove more risky than some scholars in Social Studies of Markets suggest. These markets turned out to ‘work’ quite well despite the poor quality of the market devices that were to frame it as value-driven. Later on, when the quality of these devices improved, the market actually focused more on cost saving. Since many scholars who entered Social Studies of Markets from Actor-network theory, they have argued for the importance of market devices in framing values. This chapter shows the importance of sensitizing the sociological interventions to prevailing market regimes and market practices as ‘forms of the probable’ that are highly consequential for the acting space of social scientists in performing markets.

Keywords:   Healthcare markets, Social Studies of Markets, Quality improvement, Care pathways, Market devices, Actor-network theory, Framing values, Forms of the probable

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