The productive life of risk

Caitlin Zaloom

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    Contemporary social theorists usually conceive of risk negatively. Focusing on disasters and hazards, they see risk as an object of calculation and avoidance. But we gain a deeper understanding of risk in modern life if we observe it in another setting. Futures markets are exemplary sites of aggressive risk taking. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork on trading floors, this article shows how a high modern institution creates populations of risk-taking specialists, and explores the ways that engagements with risk actively organize contemporary markets and forge economic actors. Financial exchanges are crucibles of capitalist production. At the Chicago Board of Trade, financial speculators structure their conduct and shape themselves around risk; and games organized around risk influence the social and spatial dynamics of market life.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)365-391
    Number of pages27
    JournalCultural Anthropology
    Volume19
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Aug 2004

    Fingerprint

    capitalist production
    futures market
    market
    disaster
    economics
    Risk Taking
    Crucible
    Hazard
    Avoidance
    Economics
    Theorists
    Forge
    Disaster
    Field Work

    Keywords

    • Capitalism
    • Chicago
    • Exchange
    • Finance
    • Risk
    • Speculation
    • United States

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology

    Cite this

    Zaloom, C. (2004). The productive life of risk. Cultural Anthropology, 19(3), 365-391.

    The productive life of risk. / Zaloom, Caitlin.

    In: Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 19, No. 3, 08.2004, p. 365-391.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Zaloom, C 2004, 'The productive life of risk', Cultural Anthropology, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 365-391.
    Zaloom C. The productive life of risk. Cultural Anthropology. 2004 Aug;19(3):365-391.
    Zaloom, Caitlin. / The productive life of risk. In: Cultural Anthropology. 2004 ; Vol. 19, No. 3. pp. 365-391.
    @article{5abfe179b4bb400dae8c0a2d919ce2b1,
    title = "The productive life of risk",
    abstract = "Contemporary social theorists usually conceive of risk negatively. Focusing on disasters and hazards, they see risk as an object of calculation and avoidance. But we gain a deeper understanding of risk in modern life if we observe it in another setting. Futures markets are exemplary sites of aggressive risk taking. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork on trading floors, this article shows how a high modern institution creates populations of risk-taking specialists, and explores the ways that engagements with risk actively organize contemporary markets and forge economic actors. Financial exchanges are crucibles of capitalist production. At the Chicago Board of Trade, financial speculators structure their conduct and shape themselves around risk; and games organized around risk influence the social and spatial dynamics of market life.",
    keywords = "Capitalism, Chicago, Exchange, Finance, Risk, Speculation, United States",
    author = "Caitlin Zaloom",
    year = "2004",
    month = "8",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "19",
    pages = "365--391",
    journal = "Cultural Anthropology",
    issn = "0886-7356",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "3",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The productive life of risk

    AU - Zaloom, Caitlin

    PY - 2004/8

    Y1 - 2004/8

    N2 - Contemporary social theorists usually conceive of risk negatively. Focusing on disasters and hazards, they see risk as an object of calculation and avoidance. But we gain a deeper understanding of risk in modern life if we observe it in another setting. Futures markets are exemplary sites of aggressive risk taking. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork on trading floors, this article shows how a high modern institution creates populations of risk-taking specialists, and explores the ways that engagements with risk actively organize contemporary markets and forge economic actors. Financial exchanges are crucibles of capitalist production. At the Chicago Board of Trade, financial speculators structure their conduct and shape themselves around risk; and games organized around risk influence the social and spatial dynamics of market life.

    AB - Contemporary social theorists usually conceive of risk negatively. Focusing on disasters and hazards, they see risk as an object of calculation and avoidance. But we gain a deeper understanding of risk in modern life if we observe it in another setting. Futures markets are exemplary sites of aggressive risk taking. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork on trading floors, this article shows how a high modern institution creates populations of risk-taking specialists, and explores the ways that engagements with risk actively organize contemporary markets and forge economic actors. Financial exchanges are crucibles of capitalist production. At the Chicago Board of Trade, financial speculators structure their conduct and shape themselves around risk; and games organized around risk influence the social and spatial dynamics of market life.

    KW - Capitalism

    KW - Chicago

    KW - Exchange

    KW - Finance

    KW - Risk

    KW - Speculation

    KW - United States

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=4544255664&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=4544255664&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    M3 - Review article

    AN - SCOPUS:4544255664

    VL - 19

    SP - 365

    EP - 391

    JO - Cultural Anthropology

    JF - Cultural Anthropology

    SN - 0886-7356

    IS - 3

    ER -