Something New

Value and Change in Finance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Ethnographic and social scientific accounts of the financiers that buy and sell companies for profit often homogenize the players in these social dramas, relying on blunt, totalizing definitions of culture or overly deterministic articulations of habitus. This article, drawing on a two-year study of private equity investors, offers an alternative analytic frame for making sense of how private equity people buy and sell companies. It explores the ways in which private equity people make arguments persuading one another and the larger public that an investment is worth making. Important to these arguments are not only substantive content, the evidence that investors marshal to support a thesis, but also reflective evaluation of what counts as good evidence, meta-commentary. It is in these split levels of analysis that we can appreciate the cultural diversity within finance, Wall Street, and investment banking. I will also suggest that understanding how investors are arguing substantively as well as meta-pragmatically begins to outline a useful theory of culture change within the world of investment banking.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cultural Economy
Volume10
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)393-404
ISSN1753-0350
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Private equity
  • Finance
  • Ethnography
  • Society
  • Economic history
  • Agency

Cite this

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title = "Something New: Value and Change in Finance",
abstract = "Ethnographic and social scientific accounts of the financiers that buy and sell companies for profit often homogenize the players in these social dramas, relying on blunt, totalizing definitions of culture or overly deterministic articulations of habitus. This article, drawing on a two-year study of private equity investors, offers an alternative analytic frame for making sense of how private equity people buy and sell companies. It explores the ways in which private equity people make arguments persuading one another and the larger public that an investment is worth making. Important to these arguments are not only substantive content, the evidence that investors marshal to support a thesis, but also reflective evaluation of what counts as good evidence, meta-commentary. It is in these split levels of analysis that we can appreciate the cultural diversity within finance, Wall Street, and investment banking. I will also suggest that understanding how investors are arguing substantively as well as meta-pragmatically begins to outline a useful theory of culture change within the world of investment banking.",
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Something New : Value and Change in Finance. / Souleles, Daniel.

In: Journal of Cultural Economy, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2017, p. 393-404.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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