A recurrent and central issue in development sociology has been the role that commoditisation plays in more general processes of social transformation. A good deal of energy and paper has been expended struggling with how the market and its institutions intervene in everyday social life and reconfigure existing politico-economic and cultural domains. In the 1970s and 1980s, the debate centred on the theoretical interpretation of ‘exchange value’, and the issue of the ‘survival’ or ‘destruction’ of peasant forms of organisation in the context of proletarianisation and urbanisation. By the 1990s, the focus had shifted to the exploration of commodity relations and the negotiation of social values within increasingly global scenarios. This chapter then maps out the broad trajectory of this continuing debate and indicates how these issues have been tackled from an actor perspective.