Call for Abstracts: Interpreting and Questioning Finance as Social Relationships

Call for Abstracts for panel entitled, “Interpreting and questioning finance as social relationships” at the International Sociological Association’s World Congress next summer in Toronto, Canada, 15-21 July 2018.  This will be one of 23 sessions organized by the Economy & Society research committee (RC02).  Although the conference is next summer, the deadline for submitting abstracts is fast approaching:  September 30, 2017, 24:00 GMT.

Sociologists frequently understand finance in essentialist terms—as the creation and brokerage of capital.  However, in line with other relational approaches in sociology, numerous scholars have investigated debt, credit, bonds, and other debt-like financial instruments as social relationships.  And of course, equity relationships have long been understood in transactional terms.

Building on sessions at the ISA Forum in Vienna in 2016, this open call for papers seeks theoretically-driven empirical research that investigates finance as social relationships, as well as papers that directly refute this framing.  For example, if financial instruments, products, and services are social relationships, how are they embedded in racial and gender systems, and with what consequences?  If financial products are conceived of as commodity chains—a string of interorganizational relationships stretching across time and space—how is finance racialized and gendered?  Conversely, how is financialization changing racial and gender systems?  More broadly, how does culture, moral beliefs, norms, habit, imitation, strategic behavior, social networks, or social institutions shape ongoing financial relationships?  At the level of organizations, how does viewing debt and equity as relationships alter our understanding of the behavior of households, firms, corporations, municipalities, states, or transnational regions?  At the level of financial instruments and markets, how are bonds, mortgages, and equity products created, marketed, and consumed?  These broad questions are merely indicative of the wide range of research welcome in this panel.

Two types of theoretically-driven empirical papers will be given preference.  First, research that addresses gender and/or racial systems.  Second, research conducted outside of the North Atlantic.

You can find Economy & Society’s Call for Abstracts here:

To submit an abstract, go to:

If you have any questions, please contact the organizer:
Aaron Z. Pitluck, Illinois State University,

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