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Book Sections Year : 2019

Finance as social science


The aim of our work is to demonstrate how the social sciences can help us to adopt a denaturalizing approach to contemporary finance, changing the way we think about it. Building on the confrontations, exchanges and debates which have dominated social studies in the field of finance since the late 1980s, we aim to propose analytical perspectives based on the empirical practices applied by economists, sociologists, managers, anthropologists and historians. On one hand, the structure of our methodology is based on critical analysis of the three main phases in the development and institutionalisation of finance as presented in this introduction: a first section offering a “Critical analysis of mainstream financial theory and its applications,” a second section looking at “Structural dynamics in the financial industry” and a third section focusing on “Finance as a new system of accumulation.” One the other hand by recognising that the same social phenomenon can be analysed at multiple levels, divergences between disciplines – and between theories within these disciplines – melt away to reveal a continuous spectrum of complementary interpretations. Approaches adopting the perspective of individuals, tools, categories, classes, organisations, structures, fields, institutions and even nations are all legitimate, each making a complementary contribution to our understanding of the same phenomena. This collection uses three levels of observation to unfold and probe the financial field: techniques, organisations and institutions.
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Dates and versions

hal-02106224 , version 1 (22-04-2019)



Isabelle Chambost, Marc Lenglet, Yamina Tadjeddine. Finance as social science: Introduction. Isabelle Chambost; Marc Lenglet; Yamina Tadjeddine. The Making of Finance. Perspectives from the social sciences, Routledge, pp.1-14, 2019, 978-1-138-49857-0. ⟨10.4324/9781351016117-1⟩. ⟨hal-02106224⟩
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