The Temporalization of Financial Markets : From Network to Flow

Karin KNORR CETINA, Alex PREDA

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

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We analyze here several market configurations and argue that, in the course of their development, at least some markets moved from a network-based architecture to one based on a scopic mode of coordination. In networks, the mechanism of coordination is relational and selective; coordination emerges from passing things through the pipes that link the network nodes. A scopic mechanism, in contrast, works through collecting and "appresenting" things simultaneously to a large audience of observers. The transformation from relation-seeking actors to data and narratives beamed to observers enabled a flow market to emerge that moves across time zones with the sun. The notion flow points to the streaming character of market reality and some of its consequences. The specialized life-world of flow markets is ‘metastable' in physicists' sense: it is stable only long enough to enable transactions to occur and changes with transactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-138
Number of pages23
JournalTheory, Culture & Society
Volume24
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

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