Cultural perspectives on financial domination in the economy and organizations

Silvio Eduardo Alvarez Candido

ORCID: 0000-0002-5275-6577.


The last few decades have witnessed rapid changes in the dynamics of capitalist economies around the world. Important authors in the fields of economic and organizational sociologies have tried to interpret them from perspectives that emphasize cultural and power relations in the construction of economic processes. Most of these authors associate these changes with those in the dynamics of accumulation due to market deregulations, which allow for the financial sector overlapping the productive sectors of the economy and the prioritization of capital accumulation via the financial market to the detriment of the industry. The recommended books systematize the discussion on how these processes unfolded and what their organizational and work consequences were, providing a "shortcut" to understanding our days.



MANAGED BY THE MARKETS. How finance re-shaped America
Gerald F. Davis. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2009. 304 p.

In this book, Gerald Davis, Professor of the University of Michigan, comprehensively analyzes the financialization processes in the United States starting in the 1980s, addressing how they affected companies, banks, the state, and citizens. This analysis of the extensive reorganization of the United States is important in itself as well as by its enormous influence on other countries. It is an excellent starting point for the subject.



DECIFRA-ME OU TE DEVORO: O Brasil e a dominação financeira.
Roberto Grün São Paulo - SP: Alameda, 2015. 346 p.

In another comprehensive book, Professor Roberto Grün addresses specifically how finance was culturally imposed on the Brazilian society. His analysis starts considering the oscillations in economic culture, the transformations in politics and the dominant corporate models in the last decades, culminate in taking corporate governance as the focal point of financial dominance, and finishes investigating the ambiguous relationship between the PT (Worker’s Party) governments and finance.



MARKETS ON TRIAL: The economic sociology of the U.S. financial crisis.
Michael Lounsbury & Paul M. Hirsch (Orgs.). Bingley, UK: Emerald Books, 2010.

In this valuable book, divided into two volumes, some of the leading authors in the fields of economic and organizational sociologies provide alternative interpretations and recommend ways for the resolution of the 2008 financial crisis. Analyses of the dramatic events associated with the crisis particularly reveal the cultural foundations of historically constructed multiple forms of social rationality, which is the basis for the functioning of financial markets.



THE VANISHING AMERICAN CORPORATION: Navigating the hazards of a new economy
Gerald Davis. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016. 234 p.

Starting from the provocative assertion that large corporations are gradually disappearing from developed economies, Davis argues that financial hegemony has weakened the hierarchical coordination typical of large firms and promoted the rise of coordination through commercial contracts based on the performance of projects and tasks. This trend has arisen from the diffusion of digital platforms facilitating "uberization" of the dominant business models.



ENRICHISSEMENT: Une critique de la merchandise
Luc Boltanski & Arnaud Esquerre. Paris, France: Gallimard, 2016. 672 p.

Applying their pragmatic justifications approach to confront the classical value theories, authors argue that the de-industrialization of European economies and the increase in inequality have boosted what they call the "enrichment economy," which promotes the appreciation of what is unique, rare, and ancient. This approach is an alternative way to understand the recent transformations in capitalism, seeking to raise criticisms that can moralize its dynamics and control it.


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