chapter  7
12 Pages

Digital Markets and Value

What does it mean to say we value a thing? What is the basis for our judgement? Raymond Williams (1976: 87) once famously stated that the word culture was ‘one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language’. He later lamented in an interview: ‘I’ve wished that I had never heard of the damned word. I have become more aware of its difficulties, not less, as I have gone on’ (Williams 1979: 154). I do not wish to say that this is equal to my experience, nor do I wish to suggest that I am on a level with Williams in terms of sophistication in my cultural analysis, but by analogy one could say that the concept of value is equally complicated in its wide variety of uses and in its plurality of connotations. Quite naturally I have not exhausted its varied meanings, and there is certainly much more to say in terms of analysis of the position of value in culture and society.