Good news! The LSE is launching a new executive summer course in the sociology of finance. 

The course, titled “Culture, Networks and Performance,” is a first of its kind. For the first time, an academic program is putting to use the award-winning concepts of the sociology of financemarket devices, embeddedness, performativity— to give professionals in finance an advantage in trading, banking or risk management. 

This course is premised on one simple idea: that there is a new and distinctive way to think sociologically about financial markets. Different from orthodox economics and its emphasis on rational choice. Different as well from behavioral finance and its focus on individuals and mistakes (or “biases”). The sociology of finance incorporates technology like formulae and machines in our understanding of markets. It conceptualizes markets as controversies, where there is often no right and wrong. It explains why management, culture, practice, are critically important to the calculative processes of a bank. And it provides a balanced take on markets – in between the “markets always get it right” approach from economics, and the “this is how people get it wrong” from behavioral finance.  

Participants can expect to:

  • Understand the relational aspects of finance
  • Acquire skills to manage the culture of financial firms
  • Understand the impact of technology on financial markets
  • Discover the limits of economic and financial models 
  • Explore the ways in which by financial communication shapes value

The course is organized by Nina Andreeva and myself. But the instructors will include a broad set of heavyweights from the LSE, including Michael Power (LSE Accounting), Paul Willman (LSE Management), Jean Pierre Zigrand (LSE Finance) and Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra (LSE Sociology).

For more information, dates and a longer description, see here. And for even more information, just drop me a line at d.beunza@lse.ac.uk

Call for papers and open registration (deadline: July 15th):

The Sociology of Market Microstructure

A Workshop at the New York Stock Exchange

Daniel Beunza and Yuval Millo (organizers)

August 9th 2013, 9.00 am – 5.30 pm

In the past three decades economic sociologists have developed a distinct understanding of financial exchanges, yet the current trend towards automation and ongoing regulatory debate over high frequency trading have called for renewed research on the topic. This workshop aims at putting together a coherent body of sociological research focused on financial exchanges and related issues — the automation of trading, high frequency trading, financial regulation, the Flash Crash, the European MiFID directive, etc.– with the goal of developing a sociological literature in the area known as “market microstructure” in economics. Appropriately, the event will take place within the New York Stock Exchange, and include tours of the floor in small groups. Confirmed speakers include Daniel Beunza, Bruce Carruthers, Donald MacKenzie, Karin Knorr Cetina, Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, Aaron Pitluck, Yuval Millo, and others.

We are inviting proposals for paper presentations. Registration to attend is now open for participants. Places will be limited to 50, including the panelists and will be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. Registration is free, but we expect a firm commitment. For inquiries please contact Daniel Beunza and d.beunza@lse.ac.uk or Yuval Millo at ym95@leicester.ac.uk