CfP: Reembedding Finance
October 15, 2009
“Reembedding Finance” is the title of a Social Studies of Finance International Workshop to be held in Paris, May 20-21, 2010. From the call for papers:
The subprime financial crisis has recently shown the limits of an abstract and disembodied view of financial markets and their so-called “efficiency”. A new interdisciplinary field of research often known as “Social Studies of Finance” has been purposefully tackling these limitations, and has developed with a view to “reembedding” financial practices into the social world. This collective dynamic of interdisciplinary research (gathering areas such as sociology, economics, history, anthropology, political science, management studies, geography and so forth), is grounded on a stiff conviction: the need to study financial activities as forms of social life. Showing how financial reality is embedded in social networks, culture, technology, scientific knowledge and institutional contexts can renew our understanding of finance.
While in France research in the Social Studies of Finance has been particularly active and structured through the activities of an association holding a regular seminar (the Social Studies of Finance Association or “Association d’études sociales de la finance”), the label “Social Studies of Finance” has been evolving, on an international level, with a neat inclination towards topics such as the scientific and technical embeddedness of finance, especially through the “performativity program”. However along with this thriving program, numerous studies in social networks analysis have shed light on various aspects of the social embeddedness of finance. Similarly, contributions in cultural geography or in globalization studies have examined at length the social aspects of financialization. Anthropological perspectives on financial markets, meanwhile, seek to scrutinize the moral and cultural frameworks underlying financial transactions. New institutionalism, through its various versions, has emphasized the legal and political organization that underpins financial markets and thus thoroughly contributing to the “reembedding” of finance within the social world. Heterodox perspectives in economics have also entered into a fruitful dialogue with more sociologically-inclined approaches.
The purpose of this conference, a Parisian initiative of the Social Studies of Finance Association, is to provide a venue for a productive dialogue between different perspectives to be found in the Social Studies of Finance, to think about their respective contributions, their commonalities, their differences and the opportunities of hybridization they may bring to light, stressing their relevance in the current historical context.