What are the norms that actors use to justify the pursuit of self-interest? More than 100 years ago, Emile Durkheim argued that the normative pursuit of self-interest was “subordinated” by norms of social solidarity. Since then, scholars have investigated a variety of norms of market action. However, there is a gap in the literature concerning the intersection of norms of self-interest and norms of social solidarity. In this article I analyzed the different norms used to legitimize and justify the pursuit of self-interest employed by voters during their interpretation and evaluation of direct democratic regulation of undocumented labor in Arizona labor markets. I found three distinct moral economies, or broad consensuses about rules of legitimacy and fairness, that spanned across income level and political party for respondents who identified as voting out of self-interest. These three moral economies draw upon norms of social solidarity in order to legitimize and justify norms of the pursuit of self-interest. My findings help begin to shed light on the various manifestations of norms of self-interest that draw upon norms of solidarity.
Reference: Vila-Henninger, Luis Antonio, “The Moral Economies of Self-interest : The Popular Confluence of Norms of Self-interest and Norms of Solidarity,” Sociological Perspectives. n° 60, issue 1, February 2017, pp. 168-185.