Conference Proceedings

“Good Collectors” and “Good Investors”: Gatekeeper Use of Valorous Categories in the Art Market

E COSLOR, B Crawford, A Leyshon

Academy of Management | Published : 2017


This research examines intermediary use of categories at the micro-social level, highlighting the links between categories and gatekeeping. Use of membership categorization analysis (MCA) concepts with ethnomethodology helps to show categorical micro-foundations of intermediation in talk and text. In the case of gatekeepers (gallerists) in the high value art market, thematic analysis highlights ideal-type “good collectors” and newer “good investors,” and gallerist strategies to push buyers to conform to one of these categories, often with the goal of discouraging disruptive speculation. The findings show: first, how ideal categories serve as reference points for legitimate and even “valorous..

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University of Melbourne Researchers