By rescuing an obscure and almost forgotten parliamentary controversy in Chile, this article shows how private property and solidarity cohabit in health insurance. To do so, it follows both pragmatist sociology, where controversies are seen as situations in which social formations are questioned and reconfigured, and recent economic sociology, studying how marketisation might help in assembling and not only destroying social bonds. Simultaneously, this work departs from these influences in three directions. It deals with two ways of assembling the social, solidarity and property, which have remained overlooked in the proximate literature. Rather than a detailed ethnographic description, it works analogically, eliciting new interpretations of the empirical material by pairing the social scientific concepts mobilised in the studied controversy with the conceptual tools developed in recent social sciences. And, by analysing a parliamentary controversy regarding insurance, it complements recent work that is starting to study how finance commodities are enacted not only in traditional market encounters but also in a varied array of collateral sites, including courts, social policy and regulation controversies.
Journal of Cultural Economy, 2014, Vol 7, Issue 3, p. 291-307