In this paper the author combines the issues of valuation and becoming-rent of profit to seek clues to analyze the modern state of capitalism. In recent years “valuation studies” has become active, and in particular, approaches of Convention theory and Actor-network theory are significant. On the other hand, the concept of becoming-rent of profit is presented as a concept that briefly describes the characteristics of modern capital in the cognitive capitalism hypothesis. Both are discussed in different research contexts in terms of their origin, but are based on a not-so-distant perception of the present state of things. In Section 2, this study interprets the current situation in which “value” has come to be re-questioned from the perspective of cognitive capitalism. Section 3 theoretically examines the problem of valuation, focusing on the merchandise in the market. In Section 4 examines the issue of becoming-rent of profit in relation to contemporary mode of valuation and attempts to depict one aspect of modern capitalism.
The globalization of consumption in recent years is promoting the cross-border movements of various goods (including services and business models). At the same time, we have confirmed many phenomena in which the meaning and value-in-use of border-crossing products differ considerably between the home market and the host market. In order to theoretically understand such phenomena, this paper surveys the discussion on value-in-use that developed in Japanese marketing studies in the 1990s, Additionally, it proposes a theoretical framework to explain the mechanisms of value-in-use generation by incorporating the concept of “market context” which the author has been advocating.
In this framework, value-in-use in the host market is thought to be generated by reconciling meaning-giving based on the context of the home market with meaning-giving based on the context of the host market. This “market context,” involves a combination of factors, such as nature, population, politics, economy, history, and religion. This creates a local sense of standards shared among consumers, which gives meaning in the sense of convenience, ease of use, and stylishness for goods.
Consequently, when considering the value-in-use of border-crossing products, the task is how to understand the meaning-giving of those products by the local sense of standards in the home market and in the host market, respectively.
The purpose of this study is to clarify the role and function of rural areas in the Back to the Land Movement, that has emerged widely in developed countries since the end of the 1960s. This study analyzes the lives and consciousness of the people involved in the movement and the process of its development. The Back to the Land Movement, which began as a social movement in 1968, formed two waves, one in the 1970s and a other after the 2000s, with the goal of criticizing and breaking away from cities and capitalist society. From a comparison of the two waves, the following points become clear. First, the rural space has functioned as a “place of experiment” for redefining value. It has been a process of reexamining the values of money, labor, family, and natural environment through the social experiment of community. This is how the rural village has been transformed from a “place of escape” that liberates the individual to a place of ecological practice and social sharing. Mainstream society has always existed as a target of criticism in the background of the commune and community as a counterculture. Second, the “rural” was an important proposition against the antithesis of the “city,” and the contrast between the “negative image of the city” and the “rural village as a utopia” was strongly recognized. The Back to the Land Movement has survived to this day, fueled by criticism of society and the practice of ecology, with value created and consumed in the process.
This article is based on the report at the Symposium of the 68th Congress of the Japan Association of Economic Geographers, presented as a contribution to the common theme of “Valuing in Economic Geography” from the perspective of landscape policy. Careful reading of the main international conventions related to landscape, the World Heritage Convention (WHC) and the European Landscape Convention (ELC), provided a useful framework of our research, aimed at a synthetic analysis of definitions of landscape, academic discussion behind them and valuing of landscape. Although the WHC is the first international agreement in introducing formally the concept of landscape, for the objective of this work a special emphasis was placed on the ELC, because of the wide range of practices in landscape policy across the member countries prompted by the convention. For in-depth understanding of the development of landscape policy, an extensive reference was made of the experience in Spain, especially the Autonomous Community of Andalusia. The results of the research can be summarised as follows:
The WHC's approach to landscape is expressed clearly in its operational guidelines, which define cultural landscape as cultural properties representative of combined work of nature and humans. Valuing of landscape is subsumed in the act of selecting and nominating landscapes with an outstanding universal value. The concept of landscape in the ELC, however, is much more complex and comprehensive. Two important aspects of landscape, morphology of land and perception of scenery, are clearly recognisable in the ELC, and can be interpreted as an institutional embodiment of both approaches developed along the history of landscape research. The experience in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia illustrates that where the act of valuing landscape becomes more relevant is in the assessment of landscape characters as well as the definition of landscape quality objectives. These practices are precisely what most requires public participation and respond to a third pillar of landscape present in the ELC: landscape as responsibility of participating population. Despite the deep historical roots of landscape as a polity, formalised methodology of public participation should be complemented with bottom-up actions of civic society. The example of Spain, in this case the experience in Priorat county in Catalonia, is also very significant, where potent social movements emerged to value their landscape against the implementation of wind power plants. The inscription of the county as a UNESCO cultural landscape is the goal proposed by the activists' platform to put together interests, often contradictory, of the different groups of people living in the area.
Lessons from the two regions in Spain are insightful, when attempts are made to find out a common ground between rather different orientations of landscape policy defended by the two international conventions. Especially when landscape is assumed as a dynamic reality that is inherited and evolves over time with the interplay of humans and environment, there appears a possibility to link the valuing of selective cultural landscapes adjusted to the UNESCO standards to the proactive initiatives for landscape developed under the umbrella of the ELC.