Rites of passage: Constructing quality in a commodity subsector

Lawrence Busch, Keiko Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


This article extends the concept of symmetry to ethics. Using the case of canola in Canada, the authors argue that grades and standards simultaneously subject humans and nonhumans to rites of passage that test their "goodness." Then, they further develop a tentative typology of standards. The authors argue that these standards allow something resembling the neoclassical market to be established, create the conditions for economic analysis, and allocate power among human actors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-27
Number of pages25
JournalScience Technology and Human Values
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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