Anthropology of Finance Today

March 30, 2009

Blog readers might be interested in a recent thread on anthropology and the financial crisis published in the pages of Anthropology Today. The discussion was initiated in the November 2008 issue with this guest editorial by Keith Hart and Horacio Ortiz (see also relevant excerpts here) and this other piece by Stephen Gudeman. Comments followed by Kalman Applbaum (here) and by Julia Elyachar and Bill Maurer (here) in the February 2009 issue, and by Gustav Peebles (here) Gudeman (his reaction here) and myself (here) in the April 2009 issue — I reacted to Hart and Ortiz’s truly excellent piece with a somewhat rhetoric objection to their use of quotation marks to refer to the “force” of “objects”.

4 Responses to “Anthropology of Finance Today”

  1. danielbeunza Says:

    Fabian — I could not a agree more with your commentary.

    I particularly liked the following line: “Financial objects do things. They have consequences, act as constraints on further action, are themselves actions under constraint, and are also acted upon. … What they do not quite tolerate is reduction to a single drive (be it human greed, bad science or internal contradiction).”

    Could you offer some examples in relation to the current credit crisis? It would be particularly interesting to have “competing explanations”, i.e., greed versus the agency of an object, of the same phenomenon.

  2. Cialis Says:

    OlbtNY Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

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