The Global Financial Class: Global Class Formation at the Juncture of Organizations, Places and Markets

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC17 Sociology of Organization (host committee)

Language: English

Market-orientated globalization has transformed the logic of economic organizations. Instead of “retain and reinvest”, we find downsizing and outsourcing; instead of growth in size and production volume, we find orientation to financial indicators like share price and return on capital; instead of being anchored in local, protected markets, we find firms displaying global opportunity-seeking behaviour.

These transformations correspond to changes in the social structure. Financial elites take on a decisive role in the global economic process. Their collectively shared social and cultural capital, their knowledge and practices, set them apart from other corporate elites and enable them to transform the economy in their favour.

This session aims at discussing the findings of a research project, undertaken recently in Frankfurt and Sydney, which was guided by the thesis that there is a process of class formation taking place among professionals in the financial markets, i.e. the formation of social, cultural or organizational “collectivities” in the pursuit of economic interests. We argue that global financial markets provide the basis for the formation of a global financial class.

With this open session, we wish to come into dialogue with related research on the nexus of finance, class and global markets, and welcome contributions from the perspectives of organisational-, socio-structural- and economic sociology.

Session Organizers:
Marco HOHMANN, Goethe-Universitat Frankfurt, Germany and Lukas HOFSTAETTER, University of Frankfurt, Germany
Robert VAN KRIEKEN, University of Sydney, Australia
Oral Presentations
The Global Financial Class: Global Financial Markets New Forms of Business Culture and Boundary Work
Lukas HOFSTAETTER, Universität Hamburg, Germany; Marco HOHMANN, Universität Hamburg, Germany; Sighard NECKEL, Universität Hamburg, Germany
The Active Construction of Passive Investors: Toward Robo Economicus
Adam HAYES, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA