Professor Alex Preda (King’s College London) will be visiting the Social Theory and Evidence Workshop this Monday May 11 at 12 Noon in the Albion Small Room (SS-305) in the Social Sciences Building. Alex will be presenting a chapter of his upcoming book Noise. Living and Trading in Electronic Finance (currently under review with the University of Chicago Press). A PDF of the chapter to be reviewed is available to those folks with a UChicago e-mail address; just email me (Antoine) to ask for a copy.
Alex will be be at STEW at the noon hour on Monday. After the workshop, Alex will hang around to talk more about his work to those who are interested.
On Tuesday May 12, Alex will also be having a sit-down discussion of his work in Karin Knorr-Cetina’s Maverick Markets Class, which is located in Haskell Hall Room 315. This class starts at 9:00 AM but Alex will present after the 10 o’clock hour. If by chance you are unable to attend STEW or you want to hear more details about his work, Professor Cetina invites you to come by!
Thanks to everyone who continues to make STEW the premier workshop at the University of Chicago!
The Social Theory and Evidence Workshop presents:
“Competition and Spectacle in Electronic Finance” – Book Chapter Discussion from the upcoming Noise. Living and Trading in Electronic Finance which has been submitted to the UChicago Press.
Alex Preda, Professor of Accounting, Accountability and Financial Management,
Kings College London
Monday, May 11, 12:00 – 1:20 PM
*Social Sciences 305: Albion Small Room*
The financial economics literature (and not only) is replete with arguments about the benefits of competition in markets: indeed, the very notion of market efficiency rests on the idea of competition. Yet, one observable paradox in electronic finance is that retail traders do not compete against each other, as the counterparty is always the broker. Additional quantitative evidence suggests that traders prefer imitation to competition. At the same time, financial institutions go to great lengths in organizing trading competitions performed in front of audiences. What does it mean to compete in financial transactions? I investigate this question at the level of the interaction order: drawing on the work of Erving Goffman and Georg Simmel, and anchoring the argument in ethnographic work, I argue that competitions are staged as a means of solving a series of moral issues critical with respect to financial transactions. Competitions appear thus to be less the “natural” modus operandi of markets than a carefully orchestrated way of providing visible, if temporary solutions to the moral problems raised by transactions.
Alex Preda is a sociologist at King’s College London, with a strong interest in the sociology of finance. He has recently finished a book on Noise. Living and Trading in Electronic Finance, which he has submitted to the University of Chicago Press. His current interest is quantitative ethnography, understood as the quantitative investigation of very large sets of naturally produced data. He works with his PhD students on “Facebook finance”, using such datasets.
Please come early for lunch and refreshments. Vegans and Vegetarians welcome.
For further inquiries or if you require assistance to attend the event, please contact Antoine Jones at antoinej (at) uchicago.edu.