Tag Archives: Guyer

Seminar Review: Making things valuable – CBS (first part)

[Como parte de nuestra colaboración inter-redes este post es publicado conjuntamente con Charisma-Network]

Photo: Sidsel Nelund

Pricing cell phone numbers in Beirut. Photo: Sidsel Nelund

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend an excellent two-day workshop “Making things valuable” held at the Copenhagen Business School. The final program had eight presenters – Peter Miller, Paulo Quattrone, Wendy Espeland, David Stark, Martha Poon, Lucien Karpik, Celia Lury and Vicent Lépinay – each with an hour for presentation and Q&A. Unsurprisingly, these very rich two days left me thinking about many different things and my thoughts went in many directions. In this post (and hopefully in a second one too), I am going to try and organize what I heard. However, more than giving a full account of the event, I am going to focus mostly on one main issue, which, as expected, was central in at least half of the presentations, namely: quantification in the form of rankings and scores. Considering that the lineup of the workshop included some of the most influential authors of these topics today, in the next paragraphs I am going to use their work to illustrate what I understand is the state of the art in this domain (follow this link for my slightly longer summary of the previous literature), to finish with a short remark about an issue I believe has somehow been left aside: how to stop rankings. Continue reading

Finanza, moneda y distribución de la riqueza

Finanza, Moneda y Distribución de la Riqueza es un seminario de lujo que tendrá lugar en el Centro de Estudios Sociales de la Economía del IDAES-UNSAM los días 13 y 14 de diciembre en Buenos Aires. Además de los keynote speakers (Marie Cuillerai, Jane Guyer, Bill Maurer, Bruno Théret) incluirá presentaciones de tres de los contribuidores de este blog: Daniel Fridman, Taylor Nelms y Ariel Wilkis. Muy recomendable. Continue reading

Morality and popular finance: moral capital as a kind of guarantee

Ariel Wilkis nos hizo llegar su presentación en el último ISA-Buenos Aires. Acá va. Por cierto, Ariel no tiene problemas con responder comentarios y preguntas en castellano.

In my current work I discuss the expansion of financial agencies specializing in providing personal credits for consumption. I’m interested in this process because it has meant one of the mechanisms of incorporation of the popular classes into the financial system. A recent survey on financial practices in Greater Buenos Aires showed that about 20% of the informal workers, the welfare beneficiaries and the people living in slums-, obtained a credit through these agencies in the past year. (Wilkis, 2012). The first interpretation of this process can follow a sequential argument (as Geertz or Bourdieu et al. would do): the expansion of the credit market replaces the informal credit systems of the popular classes. With regard to this interpretation I would like to stand two points out. On the one hand, the above survey shows the simultaneity and heterogeneity of financial practices (both formal financial practices -for example, the use of credits cards, and informal financial practices -for example, buying on “fiado”). On the other hand, and this is the central theme I’m interested in presenting in this brief communication, we note that the making up of a certain personal credit supply is organized on the basis of a kind of guarantee which is usually central in informal credit systems: the moral capital. The credit agencies in question organize the supply, the interaction and the credit assessment on the recognition of ethical virtues of those who demand the money. Continue reading

Teorizando las Finanzas

Bill Maurer envía el siguiente aviso:

*Cultural Anthropology* has just launched a new *Theorizing the Contemporary * Forum – “Finance”. Guest edited by Bill Maurer, this issue features eighteen essays on topics such as risk, debt, ethics, infrastructure and more. Continue reading

Postales Berlineses

Amigos/as: Este breve comentario es para contarles que hace un par de semanas estuve presentando un trabajo en la 14th Berlin Roundtables on “Financialization and Everyday Life” organizada por The Irmgard Coninx Foundation, the Social Science Research Center Berlin y Freie Universität Berlin.

Los 15 trabajos abordaron el tema del encuentro desde diferentes disciplinas (sociología, antropología, derecho, economía) y enfoques. Quienes participaron eran en su gran mayoría jóvenes scholars provenientes de universidades de EEUU e Inglaterra (Chicago University, John Hopkins University, Brown University, Manchester University, London University, entre otros). Una de las coordinadoras del Workshop fue Jane Guyer, directora del depto. Antropología de John Hopkins University y sus investigaciones son sobre las prácticas monetarias en África. Las líneas que siguen tómenlas a titulo de impresiones más que concienzudas reflexiones. Continue reading