Socio-technical agency in financial markets: The case of the stock ticker

Alex PREDA *

*Corresponding author for this work

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

147 Citations (Scopus)


Recent discussions of calculative agency in financial markets (a variety of socio-technical agency) have stressed that technology constitutes markets through standardization. This raises the question of additional agential features of financial technologies, which may go beyond, supplement and embed standardization and calculability. I propose here the concept of 'generator' as a way of capturing such features of socio-technical agency in financial markets. I use this concept for examining the stock ticker, the first custom-tailored technology adopted by financial markets. I show that the ticker generated temporal structures and modes of visualizing these structures, together with representational languages, interpretive tools and boundaries associated with access to financial data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-782
Number of pages30
JournalSocial Studies of Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Financial markets
  • Price data
  • Socio-technical agency
  • Technology


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