Brief Encounters: Calculation and the Interaction Order of Anonymous Electronic Markets

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Calculation has emerged in the recent debates about (financial) markets to re-focus analytical attention on the processes through which trading strategies are worked out in trading rooms (e.g. Beunza and Stark 2005, p. 92). It has been tied to the concept of agency, designating the incorporation of scripts for practical actions in (formal) economic representations and technologies (e.g. Callon 2004, p. 123, Callon 2007, pp. 337–338). Calculative agency highlights the role of classification in making economic entities suitable for formalization (Callon and Muniesa 2005, p. 1231, Muniesa and Callon 2007). Markets appear thus to be ‘calculative collective devices’, emphasizing the common effort put by groups of market actors into reaching various degrees of consensus on value. At the same time, calculative practices highlight the institutionalization of specific rationalization procedures within organizational structures (e.g. Miller 2008, p. 53), procedures which can change organizational dynamics and the relationships between organizations and political institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMoney and Calculation : Economic and Sociological Perspectives
EditorsMassimo AMATO, Luigi DORIA, Luca FANTACCI
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780230298019
ISBN (Print)9781349325696
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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