Relational Markets and Justice Paradoxes

Michele Bratcher Goodwin


This project analyzes how relationships create private markets and might serve as a platform in the domain of biological supply. Goodwin argues that an element of discrimination tends to accompany intimate association markets (adoption and reproductive materials), and evaluates how we should think about that. The article considers whether intimacy has a role in markets and if so, how intimacy functions with regard to supply and demand. The dual statuses of intimacy are employed here - both as a metaphor for relationships and affinity linkages (based on race, gender, or even religion), and also as the term relates to the exclusively yours: biological goods, such as kidneys, ova, sperm, and babies. Goodwin analyzes why we might desire special markets in certain intimate goods. As well, she urges a more nuanced understanding of the social impacts that result from markets based on intimate associations, including discrimination.