Pandora’s Box: Opening Up Finance to STS Investigations

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)


Only two decades ago, finance was mainly the province of economics, a territory into which only few outsiders wandered. Nowadays, finance has become a central topic and various social science and humanities disciplines, have made inroads into this territory. Should the social sciences (and STS in particular) just analyse finance, or should they mainly criticize it, or maybe even provide what some have called an alternative narrative to capitalist finance?
Stemming from an ironic and innovative overview of social studies of finance (SSF), the paper presents the core characteristics of such a perspective, taking into account also the main critique that SSF attracted. The contribution concentrates then on the three issues where STS investigations of finance promise good yields: (1) agency and robots; (2) epistemic cultures; (3) expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-35
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article is an edited version of the lecture given at the concluding session of the 4th STS Italia Conference "Emerging Technologies, Social Worlds" (Rovigo, 2012, June 21-23).


  • social studies of finance
  • financial crisis
  • epistemic cultures
  • expertise
  • agency and robots


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