What is it about?

This article draws on interview and ethnographic data to present a ethic of discipline employed by finance workers in the City of London. Through interlocking values of resilience, speed and intelligence, the findings articulate how finance workers invest in a performative 'way of being' that uphold an ideological and ‘frictionless’ system of financial exchange. At the same time, an ethic of discipline sustains a worldview in which moral imperatives of financial action are tempered. The outcome, as the article explores, is a sustained set of practices that reproduce a dominant market order; one which splits the ethics of financial practice from wider questions of morality.

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Why is it important?

As finance plays an increasing role in the order of our everday lives, it is important to generate a culutral understanding of the performative practices and outlooks that pervade the industry. Too often finance is understood through structural or economistic levels of analysis. This article, by constrast, focuses on the transformations of culture that sustain a financial 'way of being'.


I hope that, beneath the academic discourse, the article offers an insight into the lived experiences and common understandings that dominant the financial services industry. Such insight presents an (alarming??) window into the outlooks and impacts of finance work as well as the potential harm it can cause.

Alex Simpson
Macquarie University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Establishing a Disciplining Financial Disposition in the City of London: Resilience, Speed and Intelligence, Sociology, July 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0038038519860402.
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