Financialization as a Socio-technical Process

Authored by: Eve Chiapello

The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138308213
eBook ISBN: 9781315142876
Adobe ISBN:


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The purpose of this chapter is to propose a particular understanding of financialization, connected with a special approach to studying it. Financialization is often defined as a process of morphological transformation of capitalism, entailing the capture of resources by finance in the broadest sense through expansion of the financial markets, and a rise in the number and variety of financial operators. I propose a different definition taking into account the socio-technical elements involved. Financialization is understood in this article as a specific process of transforming the world, objects, organizations and the problems we encounter, by the introduction of “financialized” practices, theories and instruments. The first part examines this definition more closely, explaining its positioning in relation to other approaches to financialization. The second part proposes a series of concepts to guide any empirical research claiming to belong to the approach presented here.

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