The Socialization of the Financial Instruments


  • Ehsan Lor Afshar SUNY- Binghamton University


According to Edward LiPuma, a dominant name in anthropology of finance, we now live in a new and transformative phase of capitalism in which the proportion of wealth “held in financial as opposed to physical assets” is constantly increasing. This monetary capitalism is growingly marked by financialization, speculation, risks, creation of derivative instruments, and circulation rather than production. To comprehend the economy of present and its politics, LiPuma argues, we need an adequate theorization of the social life of the new financial instruments such as the derivatives (p. 2). His project, thus, aims to offer an articulate social theory of the derivative, its markets, and the agency of those who drive. He investigates the interrelated dynamics between the social, the culture and the subjectivity that engender the derivative and simultaneously are transformed by it. Institutions of knowledge and finance are central to this dynamic whose main function is reproducing the derivative-driven capitalism.