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Placing the ‘post-social’ market: Identity and spatiality in the xeno-economy

By Angus Cameron, Geoff Lightfoot, Simon Lilley and Steven D. Brown


Following Knorr Cetina and Bruegger (2002), an understanding of financial markets as ‘post-social’ environments has gained sway. This claim is premised on the idea that new technologies, in particular screen displays of complex real-time financial information, have displaced ‘the market’ from the social and economic relations in which it might otherwise be assumed to be embedded. We argue that recent historical transformations in trading and markets are better characterized as ‘re-spatializations’ involving shifts in the placing and mediation of market spatiality. Material from the City Lives project and other sources is analysed to explore the transformation of the London International Financial Futures Exchange (LIFFE) from the early 1980s onwards. Using the notion of ‘xeno-economy’ (cf. Rotman’s (1987) ‘xeno-money’) it is argued that the spatial redistributions of the market did not so much efface sociality as set up new kinds of relations between local traders and institutions, notably mediated through geographical displaced ‘trading arcades’. The immanence of modes of sociality to markets as intrinsically and necessarily social objects is thereby emphasized.Peer reviewedPost prin

Topics: xeno-money, traders, financial markets, post-social, practice approaches
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1470593110373182
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