The Meanings of Production(s): Showbiz and Deep Plays in Finance and DIYbiology

Daniel Souleles, Michael Scroggins

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Drawing on anthropological theories of play, deep play and games, as well as sociological interaction theories of risk, this paper develops a theory of consequential games. This paper suggests that in the United States much expert or entrepreneurial activity can be seen as a competition over creating the rules of games that others must play. In turn, whatever peril lies in these consequential games is the province of the saps that have to play, and whatever reward or prize comes from the game is captured by the expert or entrepreneur. The perspective that this paper advances, in turn, renders domains of life often seen as discrete (say private equity investing and biotechnological tinkering) comparable and in fact similar types of phenomena, all caught up in the crazy apocalyptic vitality that is contemporary capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomy and Society
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)82-102
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Finance
  • DIY-biotech
  • Games
  • Experts
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Capitalism

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