Legitimacy and status groups in financial markets


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Economic sociologists have argued that financial markets should be analysed as uncertainty-processing social networks and intermediary groups. Networks and intermediaries alone cannot confer legitimacy upon financial actors and transactions. Status groups are a solution to this problem. They emphasize reputation, honour and good social behaviour as stabilizers of collective action, as means of social control and as indicators of legitimacy. I examine here the emergence and evolution of status groups of brokers in London, New York and Paris, and show how emphasis on honour was used to legitimize financial transactions. I argue that financial markets should be conceived as networks, intermediary and status groups. In global, automated financial markets status groups like securities analysts are gaining in prominence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-471
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology
Issue number3
Early online date9 Sept 2005
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Brokers
  • Global financial markets
  • Honour
  • Legitimacy
  • Status groups


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