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. Detraditionalisation and pluralisation of styles of life We commonly characterise modernity in terms of the loosening of social and cultural structures that – in pre-modern times – were fixed by juridical, religious and traditional structures. For example, studies of emergent consumer culture emphasise a destabilisation of both status and lifestyle: there is a new fluidity to material culture, as well as a new pluralism that requires ‘choice’ and problematises the taken-for-grantedness of the objects, lifestyles and relationships that fill everyday life (for example, Giddens, 1991

in Market relations and the competitive process

capitalism, and argued that liberal democracy was a fellow traveller, a position very close to that of F. A. Hayek. For these reasons he viewed with regret what he saw as the inevitable decline of capitalism. Polanyi’s great book, on the other hand, put forth the argument that the encroachment of markets on everyday life and, in particular, the commodification of labour and land had destroyed the co-operative and communal aspects he saw as essential to a healthy civil society. He saw the defence of capitalism against the pressures of working-class interests as a

in Market relations and the competitive process