661.3 Economic sociological view of the SRI market in Brazil

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 11:15 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Marina DE SOUZA SARTORE , Social Science/Sociology, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil
The recent emergence and growth of the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) market in Brazil combines sustainability with finance, insofar as it presumes that socially responsible investors will consider social, environmental and economic criteria in their investment decisions. If traditionally the stock market was associated with gambling and betting, there is little doubt that nowadays it is considered a place par excellence where the economic law of supply and demand reigns. The questions that remain surround the understanding of  the emergence of a market that combines finance and sustainability. This communication seeks to answer this question using the economic sociology theoretical approach. In accordance with the ideas of Pierre Bourdieu, I argue that simply thinking of the financial market as a place where the law of supply and demand reigns is quite insufficient to understand the emergence of the ISR market in Brazil. On the other hand, considering this financial field as a locus of cultural disputes, focusing the analysis on the social actors involved in this market’s creation as well as their individual and collective habitus can possibly put us on the track to understanding the sociology of SRI market in Brazil. Starting with a sociological analysis of the stock market Corporate Sustainability Index Committee, I mapped 154 social actors who worked directly or indirectly with the Brazilian SRI market between 2005 and 2010. The analysis of these social actor’s biographical notes led to the conclusion that the emergence of the SRI market in Brazil has less to do with the supply and demand logic than to a convergence of elites which is influenced by a financial dominant pole, seeking to win the cultural dispute by imposing their worldview to the financial field, trying to turn the SRI into the prevailing current of thought.