Rhetorical accounts of the embeddedness of begging
The idea that economic activities may be described and studied as ‘embedded’ in social relations has been central to much debate in recent economic sociology. The present study analyses legal struggles over the status of begging in Unites States law, and argues that conflicting rhetorical accounts of begging illustrate social actors’ efforts articulate the interconnectedness of their social world, including the ways in which economic practices are embedded in their social and institutional contexts. The essay thus suggests that embeddedness is not just something identified by social researchers, but also a problem faced by social actors as they try to understand the socio-economic order in which they live and act. By arguing for or against the claim that begging is simultaneously an economic action and the exercise of the right to freedom of expression the voices in this debate attempted to affect the future of this marginal economic activity.
Economy and Society, 2013, Vol 42, Issue 2, p. 281-303