Fabian Muniesa. Elements for a social inquiry into capitalization

Monday, November 16, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Blumer Room - 402 Barrows Hall

Monday, Nov 16, 2-3:30pm in 402 Barrows Hall


Elements for a social inquiry into capitalization

How can we critically examine the meaning of capitalization? How can we make sense of the traits, necessities and upshots of this particular process of valuation in which things become assets and their value is assessed from the viewpoint of an investor? Grounded on a pragmatist attention to practical process, material culture and situated interpretation, our inquiry takes the form of an ethnographic exploration of a number of relevant scenes and sites: situations in which the meaning of capitalization is progressively captured. Through the description of acts of capitalization and the analysis of the narratives they require and the practices they institute, it articulates a research sensibility that renders capitalization visible and approachable as an anthropological problem. The inquiry signals the centrality of a problematic scenario in which the object of valuation is capitalized – it becomes capital – and transformed accordingly.

Fabian Muniesa is a senior researcher at the Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, Ecole des Mines de Paris. He is currently working on the anthropology of capitalism, with a particular interest on the conditions and effects of financial valuation. He is the author of The Provoked Economy: Economic Reality and the Performative Turn