Third-party funded project

Geographies of Dissociation: The Social Construction of Value from a Spatial Perspective

Research department: Economy and Civil Society

IRS Research Topic: New Social Practices

Project Leader within IRS: Prof. Dr. Oliver Ibert

Project Team: Dr. Felix Claus Müller Dr. Jana Maria Kleibert

Consortium: Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (Coordination) The University of Manchester Uppsala University

Funding Organization: Leibniz-Gemeinschaft

Duration: 07/2015 - 06/2019


This research project seeks to analyse processes of social construction of economic value from a spatial perspective, using the example of the global fur industry. The main idea is to combine two approaches. In the cultural geographic discourse, contributors highlight that commodities achieve high prices on markets if they are successfully associated with entities representing positive, extra-economic values. Complementary processes of dissociation, i.e. activities to separate the perception of a good from aspects of its production, so far have been ignored. The project makes a conceptual contribution to this discourse by developing a framework encompassing associations and dissociations as equally important mechanisms working together in the social construction of economic value. Empirically, the scientists trace activities of value creation through the entire value chain, across places and spaces of interaction. In the analysis, they contrast the political-economic perspective on value creation, as elaborated in the global production network approach, with cultural geographic and sociological approaches of the social construction of value.


Ibert, O., Hess, M., Kleibert, J. M., Müller, F. C., & Power, D. (2019). Geographies of Dissociation: Value Creation, ‚Dark‘ Places and ‚Missing‘ Links. Dialogues in Human Geography, 9(1), 43-63.
Ibert, O., Hess, M., Kleibert, J. M., Müller, F. C., & Power, D. (2019). Positioning and ‘Doing’ Geographies of Dissociation. Dialogues in Human Geography, 9(1), 88-93.