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Special Section: Money in the 21st Century (coord. Hernán Borisonik)

The Financial Markets: Between Publics and Multitudes. A Sociological Contribution to Markets from Gabriel Tarde’s Viewpoint

Author:

Maria Soledad Sanchez

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, AR
About Maria Soledad
Doctora en Ciencias Sociales por la Universidad de Buenos Aires e Investigadora Asistente del Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET, Argentina), con sede en el Instituto de Altos Estudios Sociales, Universidad de San Martín. Es también profesora de la Universidad de Buenos Aires y de la Universidad de San Martín.
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Abstract

This paper reflects on the dynamics of today’s financial markets in the light of two concepts — publics and multitudes — which were developed by the sociologist Gabriel Tarde at the end of the 19th Century. Each of the concepts reveals a different way of structuring social links among individuals. We consider that Tarde’s concepts let us: (1) stress the communicative dimension of today’s financial markets, placing currents of opinion at the core of speculative activity in the creation and assignment of value to monetary flows and other financial instruments; (2) hypothesise that financial markets articulate the logic of ‘publics’ (or audiences). These markets are virtually, globally connected, spreading currents of opinion that link financial experts and ordinary folk. They also link the multitudes (giving rise to ‘bubbles’, key social-temporal moments, and e-valuations through community links among professional agents — all features that can pave the way to a crisis).

The paper’s point of departure is a review of present theories on Market Sociology. It then delves into the contributions that the concepts of ‘public’ and ‘multitude’ make in shedding light on financial dynamics and hence on the Sociology of Finance.

How to Cite: Sanchez, M.S., 2019. The Financial Markets: Between Publics and Multitudes. A Sociological Contribution to Markets from Gabriel Tarde’s Viewpoint. Digithum, (24). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7238/d.v0i24.3176
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Published on 15 Jul 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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