1st Edition

New Perspectives on Emotions in Finance The Sociology of Confidence, Fear and Betrayal

Edited By Jocelyn Pixley Copyright 2012
    256 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The financial crisis that started in 2007 is a concern for the world. Some countries are in depression and governments are desperately trying to find solutions. In the absence of thorough debate on the emotions of money, bitter disputes, hatred and ‘moralizing’ can be misunderstood. New Perspectives on Emotions in Finance carefully considers emotions often left unacknowledged, in order to explain the socially useful versus de-civilising, destructive, nature of money. This book offers an understanding of money that includes the possible civilising sentiments.

    This interdisciplinary volume examines what is seemingly an uncontrollable, fragile world of finance and explains the ‘panics’ of traders and ‘immoral panics’ in banking, ‘confidence’ of government and commercial decision makers, ‘shame’ or ‘cynicism’ of investors and asymmetries of ‘impersonal trust’ between finance corporations and their many publics. Money is shown to rely on this abstract trust or ‘faith’, but such motivations are in crisis with ‘angry’ conflicts over the ‘power of disposition’. Restraining influences – on ‘uncivilised emotions’ and rule breaking – need democratic consensus, due to enduring national differences in economic ‘sentiments’ even in ostensibly similar countries. Promising ideas for global reform are assessed from these cautionary interpretations.

    Instead of one ‘correct’ vision, sociologists in this book argue that corporations and global dependencies are driven by fears and normless sentiments which foster betrayal. This book is not about individuals, but habitus and market crudities. Human ‘nature’ or ‘greed’ cannot describe banks, which do not ‘feel’ because their motivations are not from personal psyches but organisational pressures, and are liable to switch under money’s inevitable uncertainties. This more inclusive social science studies emotions as a crucial factor among others, to expand the informed public debate among policy makers, bankers, academics, students and the public.

    Foreword by ESA Series Editors Helena Flam and Helmut Kuzmics | Editor Introduction Jocelyn Pixley

    Part I: Emotions and the Present Crisis: Reshaping the sociology of finance 

    1. Magic Thinking and Panic Buttons in the Callous Financial Transaction Chains Helena Flam

    2. Immoral Panic and Emotional Operations in Times of Financial Fragility Alexandros-Andreas Kyrtsis

    3. How European Sovereign Debt Became the New Subprime: On the role of confidence in the European financial crisis (2009-2010) Richard Swedberg

    4. Shame and Stock Market Losses: The case of amateur investors in the US Brooke Harrington

    5. The Grammar of Trust Susan Shapiro

    Part II: The Financial Crisis in Context: Historical and theoretical investigations

    6. Revisiting the Credit Theory of Money and Trust Geoffrey Ingham

    7. Methodology in Max Weber’s Economic Sociology: What place emotions in Roman agrarian history or today’s finance sector? Sam Whimster

    8. States of Disorder: New reflections on sociology’s contribution to understanding financial booms and crises Shaun Wilson and Peter McCarthy

    9. ‘Nicotine for Protein’: Culture and the emotions of hard trading in Japanese prisoner of war camps Benjamin Manning

    10. The Emotions of Money: assessing betrayal and reform Jocelyn Pixley


    Jocelyn Pixley is Professorial Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute, London Metropolitan University, UK and is also Senior Visiting Fellow at the Industrial Relations Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia.