Tag Archives: Tribe

Algunas lecturas, SASE Newsletter

[Florencia Labiano me escribió hace un tiempo para preguntar si podía escribir algo para la sección “On the Bookshelf” de SASE Newsletter donde gente comenta sobre libros que están leyendo o que quieran recomendar. Acaba de salir acá https://sase.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/SASE-Newsletter-Volume-IV-Issue-I-Winter-2019-2020.pdf. Abajo va lo que respondí. La Newletter viene además con contribuciones de Mariana Heredia y Mariana Luzzi]

Daniel Fridman, El sueño de vivir sin trabajar (Siglo XXI, 2019; previously published as Freedom from Work, Stanford University Press, 2016). This book is an ethnographic account of people in Argentina and the U.S. who followed a financial self-help program. The promise of the program was to convert those who participated (which means reading the books, playing board games, participating in the seminar) from dependent employees to autonomous investors. Theoretically, it is a story that contributes to the understanding of governmentality and performativity, but perhaps the book’s main accomplishment is Fridman’s own self-discipline as a storyteller. This is a book that respects and does not patronize the lived experience of self-converted neoliberals.

Philip Mirowski and Edward Nik-Khah, The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information (Oxford University Press, 2017). The authors trace a very important but often unnoticed transformation in recent economics. The market is not what it used to be. The key concept is information: the market is now understood as an information processor. Economists, however, do not have a shared understanding of what information is or does—what we have is different schools of information economics. What these schools share is that their market is very different to the market of neo-classical economics: here economic actors have only a partial and limited perspective, the key agency is not the entrepreneur but the market itself, and economists see themselves as market designers.

Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, Automating Finance (Cambridge University Press, 2019). There is a recent interest in what we could call the figure of the “market organizer.” This means that sociological analyses of markets are not only about entrepreneurs, consumers, or competition, but about those whose work it is to make markets work. Automating Finance, by Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, re-tells the history of the stock exchanges in London and New York from the perspective of the work of back-office engineers. What we get is a fresh version of automation and an account where the border between market and formal organization is almost indistinguishable.

Max Weber, Economy & Society (Harvard University Press, 2019). With a group of colleagues, I recently started a reading group of the new translation of Weber’s Economy & Society. For now, I can highly recommend the introductory text by the translator, Keith Tribe. Tribe’s text is like a book within the book. It is also an exemplar of academic effort and dedication, and, perhaps, one the best available introductions to Weber’s work.

Caitlin Zaloom, Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost (Princeton University Press, 2019). Finally, I am halfway through Caitlin Zaloom’s Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost. The object of the book is what Zaloom calls the “financial student complex”: the multilayered system developed around student loans in the U.S. The book uses an ethnographic sensibility to construct a public intervention that both opens up the black box of the complicated financial student complex and makes the reader feels the existential situation of those affected by this quite mad approach to helping students.

‘The digression is the story’ (or how to read economics and Weber). An interview with Keith Tribe

Image result for the economy of the wordKeith Tribe’s academic work combines an original mix. Tribe is a recognized scholar in history of economics who has played a very important role in the dissemination and translation of the work of Wilhelm Hennis and Reinhart Koselleck in English speaking academic circles, and he is currently working on a new translation of Max Weber’s Economy and Society for Harvard University Press.

This interview was recorded in the context of his visit to Copenhagen Business School in 2016 (one of Tribe’s talk on that visit was recently published in this special section in Sociologica). In our conversation, Tribe kindly answered questions about his different academic interests. In the first two answers, he expands on the original method of analysis of economic ideas unfolded in his book The Economy of the Word: Language, History, and Economics (2015, Oxford University Press). The answers to questions 3, 4 and 5 are about Weber, particularly the strange role Hayek played in making the first English translation of Economy and Society, the contemporary relevance of Hennis’s interpretation, and a clarification about the long lasting confusion with the term “iron cage”. Continue reading

Max Weber’s Sciences as a Vocation 100 years on: Context and continuing Significance

Acaba de aparecer en Sociológica (International Journal for Sociological Debate) una sección especial a 100 años de ‘La Ciencia como Vocación’ de Max Weber. La sección, editada por Paul du Gay y José Ossandón, presenta dos excelentes artículos en que los historiadores de las ideas Keith Tribe e Ian Hunter re-visitan el contexto y las interpretaciones de la famosa charla de Weber. Incluye además un breve ensayo introductorio en que los editores se preguntan sobre la relevancia de la charla de Weber para la práctica sociológica hoy y un comentario final de Du Gay. Los artículos están disponibles y de libre accesso acá: https://sociologica.unibo.it/. De possible interés el debate en el mismo número de Sociologica en que muy connotados investigadores (por ejemplo, Abbott, Swedberg, Bearman, Czarniawska, DiMaggio, Fourcade, Suchman) discuten sus heurísticas o métodos para descubrir nuevas ideas.

Seminars with Keith Tribe

Image result for the economy of the wordKeith Tribe will be visiting CBS in November where he will give two seminars jointly organized by the CBS Public-Private Platform’s cluster on Market and Valuation and the research programme ‘Office as a Vocation’.  On November 23rd, the title of the seminar will be “The history of concepts as a method to study the economy and markets”. On November 24th, the title of the seminar will be “Max Weber’s Lecture: Science as a Vocation”.

Keith Tribe

Keith Tribe has a long-standing interest in conceptual and economic history, language and translation as well as an interest in the work of Max Weber. In April 2015, he published the book The Economy of the Word: Language, History, and Economics with Oxford University Press and is currently working on a new translation of Max Weber’s Economy and Society for Harvard University Press. Keith Tribe has also played a huge role in the dissemination and translation of the work of Wilhelm Hennis and Reinhart Koselleck to English speaking academic circles.

The seminars Continue reading

Marx on the performativity of economics

“These laws, which A. Smith, Say, and Ricardo, have developed, these laws grow more true, more exact, then cease to be mere abstractions, in the same measure in which Free Trade is carried out…Thus it can justly be said, that the economists – Ricardo and others- know more about society as it will be, than about society as it is. If you wish to read in the book of the future, open Smith, Say, Ricardo” (Karl Marx ‘Speech on Free Trade’, Northern Star, 9 October 1847, quoted in Keith Tribe (2015), The Economy of the Word, Oxford University Press, 171).