Author Archives: joseossandon

“People like you”, Celia Lury en PUC

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XII Jornadas de Estudios Sociales de la Economía

Por estos días se llevan a cabo las clásicas (XII!) Jornadas de Estudios Sociales de la Economía en el IDAES-UNSAM. El programa completo de actividades esta disponible acá: http://noticias.unsam.edu.ar/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/programa-jornadas-web.pdf

Un diálogo sobre la sociología del dinero en y desde Argentina

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Cfp_Exit, Voice and Loyalty:  Alternative Economic Models and Responses to Decline in Contemporary Society. Warsaw, 21-22 May 2018.

Call for papers: Exit, Voice and Loyalty:  Alternative Economic Models and Responses to Decline in Contemporary Society. Warsaw, 21-22 May 2018. Guest speakers: Barbara Czarniawska (University of Gothenburg) & José Ossandón (Copenhagen Business School). The deadline for submission of abstracts is 10 December 2017.

Albert O. Hirschman’s treatise on responses to decline in various contexts and domains, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (1970), has been almost instantly welcomed as his most sociologically relevant contribution. This work opened a sociological box that can be researched without exhaustion.

The issue whether the social actors will go for exit, for voice or for loyalty when faced with downturn or decline in a particular context, or how their choices will impact on the attractiveness of other available options always leaves room for surprises and scientific discoveries. Thus, exit-voice-and-loyalty is in fact a sociological riddle, and as all good sociological riddles (such as the seminal strength of weak ties) it does not wear out. On the contrary, its value increases in time. The sociologist cannot just simply solve the problem for the last time, neither can she/he leave the problem unanswered. New empirical material related to crises, revolutions, risk, failures, downturns – in other words, social change – puts the puzzle in a completely new picture and indicates new solutions for resolving it. Hirschman himself, subsequent to the exit-voice dynamics of the 1989 upheaval in East Germany was compelled to reformulate his original thesis that exit deactivates voice and to record the scenario when private exit stimulates public voice eventually. Continue reading

Cfp_5th Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop, Copenhagen Business School, June 6 – 8, 2018

Call for Papers: Market Situations – Situated Markets. 5th Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop, Copenhagen Business School, June 6 – 8, 2018. Keynote speakers: Jens Beckert (Professor of Sociology and Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne) & Eve Chiapello (Professor of Sociology at the Centre d’Étude des Mouvements Sociaux at EHESS Paris). We invite contributors to submit an extended abstract of 2-3 pages (incl. references) to markets2018.mpp@cbs.dk. Proposals should indicate topic, theoretical positioning, methodology and outline findings, if appropriate. The deadline for submissions is Monday, January 29, 2018. Inquiries about the workshop can be made to any of the workshop organisers. We will notify contributors about acceptance by early March, and full papers will be due early May.

The Theme

The 5th Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop will take place in Copenhagen, a city which derives its name from the harbour and the associated place of commerce that existed there from the 11th century. Købmannahavn translates as ‘chapman’s haven’ and ‘merchants’ harbour’ (portus mercatorum), and as such the city is a living example of how markets and cityscapes have always tended to co-create each other. Copenhagen’s history reveals another insight. Recent critics of the neoliberal city have argued that the privatization of public spaces and the redefinition of the built environment as the object of speculation have led to a privileging of the needs of wealthy investors, for whom shopping malls and luxury hotels matter more than affordable housing and places of recreation (Sassen, 2014). From that perspective, Copenhagen seems to have been a city of speculators, projectors and investors long before we started to speak of neoliberalism: a metropolis thriving on risk, expansion, and even appropriation, of geography and temporality. Continue reading

What can social research learn from the savage detectives’ mode of inquiry?

[El nombre de esta sección es “artículos en cuotas”. La idea es, como en una novela por entregas, ir subiendo partes de papers a medida que vayan saliendo. El texto abajo es el segundo post de este tipo. Es un (muy) borrador de la primera parte de un capítulo para el libro Organization 2666 editado por Christian de Cock, Sine Nørholm Just, y Damian O’Doherty. Como el título lo indica el libro reunirá contribuciones que conectan la literatura de Roberto Bolaño y los estudios de las organizaciones]

What can social research learn from the savage detectives’ mode of inquiry? José Ossandón

Image result for Los Detectives salvajes “Soñé que era un detective viejo y enfermo que buscaba gente perdida hace tiempo. A veces me miraba casualmente en un espejo y reconocía a Roberto Bolaño” (Bolaño quoted in Trelles 2008: 271)

“Los detectives de Bolaño, pues, como en sus poemas, como en sus sueños y como en la mayoría de sus ficciones, son poetas en búsqueda permanente de otros poetas pero que, a su vez, serán objeto de búsquedas posteriores que repiten las circunstancias  y las carencias singulares de las suyas” (Trelles 2008: 287)

 

Crime fiction has been read as a mirror of social research.

In The Arcades Project, Benjamin (1999) notes that Allan Poe’s Dupin is like a physiognomist. Like the ‘Man of the Crowd’, who reads the signs hidden in the masses, Dupin deciphers the traces left in the bourgeois domestic space. The detective’s inquiry works at a level of abstraction that Benjamin recognizes as the key to 19th century society. Like financial commodities and collections, the detective’s mode of knowledge production works by assembling series out of previously unconnected events. Carlo Ginzburg (1983, 2004) has developed the comparison further. In his view, it is in the 19th century that the case study, represented in figures such as Peirce, Morelli and Freud, reaches its consolidation as a scientific method. It is this type of ‘abductive’ research that is represented in Conan Doyle’s Holmes. Sherlock is a sharp reader of signs, a non-stopping abductive machine that can connect a unique trace with massive amount of updated scientific knowledge in order to come up with the hypothesis that will solve the case. Continue reading

¿Una sociología simétrica de la deuda?

[El último número de la Revista Papeles de Trabajo de la UNSAM incluye una entrevista cuyo título es: “¿Una sociología simétrica de la deuda? reflexiones a partir del análisis de los créditos de consumo en chile” Entrevista a José Ossandón”. El texto es una versión editada de una conversación, conducida por Renato Fumero, que se llevó a cabo en septiembre del 2015 en Buenos Aires. A modo de resumen, abajo, los párrafos donde intento explicar, sin mucho éxito, la idea que terminó en el título de la entrevista. Muchas gracias a Renato por el trabajo e interés]

“Desde una mirada algo estereotipada, la sociología a veces tiende a analizar la financiarización como una especie de desocialización, individualización o mercantilización, o colonización de lo social. A mí me parece que si uno parte de una versión de lo social que no es tan positiva (en el sentido de asumir que “social” es un adjetivo que agrega un valor positivo al sustantivo que lo antecede o sigue) podría pensarse que lo que hacen las finanzas es construir sociedad. No lo digo en el sentido de lo social como personas que se reconocen a sí mismas como parte de un colectivo sino en un sentido mucho más formal. Un seguro, por ejemplo, produce poblaciones estadísticas. El negocio de los seguros es la administración del riesgo de sus pools. Sociológicamente, uno puede decir que lo que hacen los seguros es construir lo que Latour denomina “colectivos” donde el riesgo de los diferentes individuos agrupados pasa a estar interrelacionado (ver Ossandón 2014b). Algo similar podría decirse de la “securitización”. Al reunir los flujos futuros de muchas hipotecas, los bonos conectan las finanzas domésticas de muchos hogares que de otra forma no estarían conectados, pasan a ser un colectivo, una nueva formación social

A mi juicio, el estudio de estos procesos de construcción social muchas veces invisibilizados para los usuarios y para los sociólogos, es una vía interesante de análisis social de las finanzas. Como decía antes, no tenemos que asumir que sólo son sociales las prácticas domésticas o de los usuarios, pero podemos, en vez de eso, hacer un análisis simétrico, para usar un término de los Estudios de las Ciencias, orientado a comparar los diferentes tipos de colectivos que se construyen con instrumentos financieros como las tarjetas de crédito […] La sociología y la antropología de las finanzas no sólo deben intentar describir las formaciones sociales que surgen con las prácticas financieras domésticas, ni limitarse solamente a los estudios de traders o ejecutivos de empresas financieras. Creo que se hace importante estudiar la forma en que estos diferentes niveles de producción de colectivos, en mi caso las redes de préstamos de tarjetas y la administración de riesgo, se conectan empíricamente. Este es el argumento, aunque ya no sobre el caso de Chile, pero sobre los estudios sociales de las finanzas más generalmente que estamos intentando sugerir en el trabajo colectivo con Mariana Luzzi, Jeanne Lazarus y Joe Deville” Continue reading

Fridman on morals and price gouging

[Daniel Fridman publicó una columna de opinión en el periódico Dallas News. La columna debate la idea de que subir los precios luego de una catástrofe es moralmente disputable pero económicamente racional. La nota comienza así:]

“Price gouging has its defenders, but they ignore morality

In addition to wind, rain and destruction, hurricane season also brings a practice that is almost universally repudiated: price gouging. Price gouging during emergency situations is against the law in several states, including Texas and Florida, where Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit the hardest. But several economists and political pundits have spoken in favor of price gouging. They claim that we should not mess with prices, whose job is to get goods to those who want them the most. If prices go up, buyers will think twice before purchasing something they may not need, while suppliers will be incentivized to go the extra mile and provide needed goods in order to make more money. If you take that extra gain away, you will have fewer goods and in the wrong hands.” Continue reading

Making news of value: exploiting dissonances in economic journalism

[Nuevo artículo de Tomás Undurraga en Journal of Cultural Economy]

Making news of value: exploiting dissonances in economic journalism

Tomás Undurraga

ABSTRACT

This article explores the multiple modes of valuation that pervade newsmaking in economic journalism. It does so by exploring the different ways in which journalists at Valor Econômico, the leading economic newspaper in Brazil, compete and cooperate in the production of news. Valor is a paradigmatic case for discussing valuation practices in newsmaking since its institutional promise is to produce news of value. How, if at all, do Valor journalists embrace the promise of producing news that generates value? Elaborating on Stark’s (2009. The sense of dissonance. Accounts of worth in economic life. Princeton University Press) idea of dissonance, it is contended that different orders of worth collide and cooperate within Valor newsroom. Moreover, journalists engage in a variety of valuation practices through which these orders of worth are shaped, defined, and refined, reflecting different understandings of economy and society, and different conceptions of what journalism is good for. I argue that Valor’s direction intentionally fosters a plural space of value dissonance in order to improve the quality of news reporting. I emphasise, however, that these dissonances are only productive against a larger background of consonance about what actually there is to disagree about. The article is based on a seven-month ethnography of Valor’s newsroom in São Paulo between 2013 and 2015. Continue reading

How to write after performativity? (part 1)

[Este es una prueba de un nuevo tipo de post en este blog. El nombre de la sección por ahora es “artículos en cuotas”. La idea es, como en una novela por entregas, ir subiendo partes de papers a medida que vayan saliendo. El texto abajo es un primer intento. Es un borrador de la primera parte de un capítulo para el libro A Routledge Companion to ANT, editado por Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Por cierto, sugerencias sobre como debería seguir la historia son muy bienvenidos]

How to write after performativity? José Ossandón.

First installment of a chapter prepared for A Routledge Companion to ANT, edited by Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Non-proof read draft.

I. The question

The editors of this volume confronted each invited contribution with a question. The question posed for this chapter is ‘how to write after performativity?’ What is this chapter about?

Performativity

This chapter is not about performativity at large. It is not about the ‘performativity turn’ (Muniesa 2014) in the social sciences and humanities. It is not about the philosophy of language of Austin and Searle, it is not about Butler or Derrida, and it is not about Lyotard. It is about the particular extension of Actor-Network theory initiated by Michel Callon to the study of markets, movement which is normally associated with the word performativity[1]. The chapter does not deal with all the different theories Callon has successfully introduced in the study of economic problems. The chapter only tangentially touches issues such as Callon’s particular approach to the qualification of goods (Callon et al 2002), hybrid forums, affected groups and technological democracy (Callon 2009, TCS), and innovation (Akrich et al 2002). The chapter focuses on what Callon has – in part in order to distinguish his own emphases from the many other branches of the performativity turn – termed ‘performation’[2]: his theory to explain the ‘emergence and logic of calculative agencies’ (Callon 1998a: 24).

After performativity

After, writes Peter Sloterdijk, ‘is the name for a break, an epoche, in the traditional sense of the word, which indicates both the caesura and also the time following it’ (Sloterdijk 2016: pp[3]). After performativity is, then, not against, versus, or even beyond performativity; it refers to the possibilities that have been opened and were not before the breach introduced by the theory of interest here. It is, as it were, about the performativity of performativity. Continue reading