Author Archives: joseossandon

Cfp_Número especial “Paradojas del Capitalismo: desafíos para los Estudios Sociales de la Economía”.

[Felipe Mallea avisa del siguiente llamado a contribuciones al número 9 de la Revista Contenido]

Llamado a contribuciones Revista Contenido, número especial “Paradojas del Capitalismo: desafíos para los Estudios Sociales de la Economía”.

Los Estudios Sociales de la Economía han contribuido desde sus orígenes a develar las relaciones establecidas entre las actividades económicas y aquellas reservadas para el resto de la sociedad. Max Weber (1922) definió esta relación conforme a criterios claramente diferenciados, pero al mismo tiempo interdependientes, que garantizaron la especialización de la sociología en cuanto disciplina científica (Parsons & Smelser, 1956). Hacia mediados de los años ochenta, una serie de investigaciones desafiaron tal definición para estudiar en cambio las estructuras sociales donde se ‘incrustan’ los agentes económicos (Granovetter, 1985). Por otra parte, los desarrollos posteriores han demostrado la importancia de los dispositivos de cálculo que dan formato a las transacciones comerciales (Callon, 1998), así como también el rol de los economistas en la constitución de las condiciones de intercambio que describen sus modelos (Mackenzie, Muniesa & Sui, 2007).

Si bien aquellas contribuciones revelaron operaciones concretas del mundo económico con una enorme precisión empírica, no obstante, las ciencias sociales han tenido dificultades al momento de instalar un debate igualmente satisfactorio con respecto a las consecuencias paradójicas del desarrollo económico (véase Hartmann & Honneth, 2009). En efecto, la incidencia de modelos predictivos en los comportamientos que motivaron la crisis del sector financiero (Haldane, 2013), así como el uso especulativo del dinero digital constituyen claros ejemplos de cómo estos nuevos agentes económicos desafían los modelos de coordinación centralizada (Scott, 2016). De manera incluso más contradictoria, el discurso crítico ha experimentado las consecuencias de su propia circulación entre los repertorios de la clase empresarial (Boltanski & Chiapello, 2002), haciendo de las expectativas de auto-realización individual una exigencia normativa en su versión adoptada por la cultura económica.

¿Cómo integrar entonces los distintos niveles de análisis? ¿Cuáles son estas nuevas modalidades bajo las cuales se manifiestan las relaciones entre economía y sociedad? ¿Es posible conservar el estudio empírico del mundo económico sin renunciar al momento teórico que caracteriza a los diagnósticos de la economía-política? En definitiva, ¿cómo dar sentido a las distintas expresiones de la evolución paradójica del capitalismo desde los Estudios Sociales de la Economía? Continue reading

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Walmart in the Global South

Cover of Walmart in the Global South

[Antonio Stecher avisa de este nuevo libro]

Walmart in the Global South. Workplace Culture, Labor Politics, and Supply Chains. Edited by Carolina Bank Muñoz, Bridget Kenny,and Antonio Stecher. University of Texas Press.

“As the largest private employer in the world, Walmart dominates media and academic debate about the global expansion of transnational retail corporations and the working conditions in retail operations and across the supply chain. Yet far from being a monolithic force conquering the world, Walmart must confront and adapt to diverse policies and practices pertaining to regulation, economy, history, union organization, preexisting labor cultures, and civil society in every country into which it enters. This transnational aspect of the Walmart story, including the diversity and flexibility of its strategies and practices outside the United States, is mostly unreported.

Walmart in the Global South presents empirical case studies of Walmart’s labor practices and supply chain operations in a number of countries, including Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua, Mexico, South Africa, and Thailand. It assesses the similarities and differences in Walmart’s acceptance into varying national contexts, which reveals when and how state regulation and politics have served to redirect company practice and to what effect. Regulatory context, state politics, trade unions, local cultures, and global labor solidarity emerge as vectors with very different force around the world. The volume’s contributors show how and why foreign workers have successfully, though not uniformly, driven changes in Walmart’s corporate culture. This makes Walmart in the Global South a practical guide for organizations that promote social justice and engage in worker struggles, including unions, worker centers, and other nonprofit entities.” Continue reading

Performances of Value

[Ana Gross avisa del siguiente evento]

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to attend a public event David Stark is organising to mark the end of his Performances of Value project on the 4th May in London. This was a project hosted at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at Warwick University and funded by the Leverhulme Trust. It was aimed at developing an international network of scholars working in the field of valuation studies, with a strong focus placed on discussing the effects that rankings and ratings have in social life.

Please join us in what will be a very lively and interesting evening with interventions from Will Davies (Goldsmiths); Wendy Espeland (Northwestern); Kristian Kreiner (CBS); and Christine Musselin (Sciences-Po) followed by a drink reception.

For more details and to register please follow this linkContinue reading

González reseña Freedom from Work

Para los que no lo hayan visto aun, el último número de la European Economic Sociology Newsletter incluye una reseña del libro de D. Fridman Freedom from Work por Felipe González.  El link es: http://econsoc.mpifg.de/archive/Newsletter_19.2_gesamt_Endfassung.pdf 

Risks, Returns, and Relational Lending

[Laura Doering, de University of Toronto, avisa de este nuevo artículo de posible interés]

“Risks, Returns, and Relational Lending: Personal Ties in Microfinance

American Journal of Sociology, Volume 123, Number 5

Laura Doering

University of Toronto

Abstract

Personal relationships often facilitate credit transactions. However, existing research provides different expectations about whether personal ties prove detrimental or beneficial for lenders. Economic sociology highlights the advantages lenders accrue when they have personal ties with borrowers. Yet research from social psychology suggests that personal ties can be costly because lenders may “escalate commitment” to poor performers. This study uses data from a microfinance bank to ask, When are personal relationships detrimental or beneficial for lenders? It shows that lenders with personal ties to borrowers are less likely to cut those ties and their borrowers miss fewer payments. However, these trends vary with frequency of contract. When lenders and borrowers interact infrequently, lenders continue to show strong commitment, but borrowers become less compliant, creating potential problems for lenders. This study integrates theories from economic sociology and social psychology to offer a more nuanced, temporally informed understanding of personal ties in finance. Continue reading

Pilar Opazo conversa con Fridman

[En el segundo episodio del podcast que conduce Dani Fridman “Sociología con Acento”, Pilar Opazo reflexiona sobre su trayectoria, etnografía y sociología de la organizaciones a partir de su investigación sobre innovación en “ElBulli”]

http://sociocast.org/podcast/pilar-opazo/

Pardo-Guerra en el diván de Fridman

[El nuevo podcast “Sociología con Acento” de sociocast se inaugura con una conversación donde Juan Pablo Pardo Guerra le cuenta sobre su trayectoria de la física a la sociología de las finanzas a Daniel Fridman]

“En el primer episodio de Sociología con Acento conversamos con Juan Pablo Pardo Guerra sobre su transición de la física a la sociología y sobre su investigación en sociología de las finanzas. Juan Pablo estudió en México y Escocia, y trabaja hoy en la Universidad de California San Diego, Estados Unidos”

http://sociocast.org/podcast/juan-pablo-pardo-guerra/

Cosmopolitical encounters: Prototyping at the National Zoo in Santiago

[Nuevo artículo de Martín Tironi y Pablo Hermansen en Journal of Cultural Economy, ‘Cosmopolitical encounters: Prototyping at the National Zoo in Santiago, Chile’]

Cosmopolitical encounters: Prototyping at the National Zoo in Santiago, Chile

Martín Tironi & Pablo Hermansen

Abstract

This article presents an empirical reflection on how the prototyping of an environmental enrichment device for chimpanzees at the National Zoo of Chile precipitates a cosmopolitical encounter. Using material produced by design students, zookeepers and the chimps Judy and Gombe, we describe how prototyping iterations establish open processes of dialogue and encounters among humans and nonhumans. The case will demonstrate how prototyping can go further than the generation of models of an original. On the contrary, the cosmopolitical encounter emerging from the prototyping process makes evident a truly ontological vocation, acknowledging humans and other-than-human beings as singular entities. Its provisional and malleable nature turns this device into a privileged locus for the exploration of interspecies entanglement. Although zoos are scientifically organized institutions, in this case we observe how its anthropocentric hierarchy was performatively reshuffled at certain moments of the prototyping process. The cosmopolitical qualities of the prototyping process analyzed derive from its capacity to deploy an ethics of attention and care between the agencies at play, that is, for unfold gestures of mutual vulnerability. Finally, we propose prototyping as a device for moving from cosmopolitics as a way of understanding the world to cosmopolitics as a matter of design. Continue reading

Consumer databases as practical accomplishments

[Nuevo artículo de Tomás Ariztía en Journal of Cultural Economy, ‘Consumer databases as practical accomplishments: the making of digital objects in three movements’]

‘Consumer databases as practical accomplishments: the making of digital objects in three movements’

Tomas Ariztia

Abstract

This paper aims to reflect on some key issues linked to the production of digital objects in business settings. In doing so, it problematizes current social science scholarship, which emphasizes the analysis of digital data and analytics, and reinforces the magnitude of its consequences and ‘data power’. The paper proposes making three corrective ‘movements’ that might enrich our approaches to how databases and analytics are assembled in business settings. The first movement involves the problem of ethnographic access to data-making practices. We propose taking seriously the issue of fabricating an ethnographic encounter where the process of making digital objects is exposed. The second movement concerns the visibility and the type of politics taking place in data practices. We argue for the need to displace attention from data impacts and results to the myriad of mundane practices and devices through which these objects are assembled. The third movement we suggest requires a focus on examining error and failure as key aspects of the manufacturing of consumer databases. Each of these movements is illustrated by ethnographic vignettes from a 9-month ethnographic experiment that involved participating in the first stages of the manufacturing of an online financial retail company’s consumer database. Continue reading

How to write after performativity? (part 2)

[El nombre de esta 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 la segunda parte de un capítulo para el libro A Routledge Companion to ANT, editado por Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. La primera parte está acá. Por cierto, sugerencias sobre cómo debería seguir la historia son muy bienvenidos]

How to write after performativity? José Ossandón.

[Second instalment of chapter prepared for A Routledge Companion to ANT, edited by Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. Non-proof read draft.]

Part II. The instructions

Callon’s performativity thesis reoriented the attention of researchers inspecting economic issues. The traditional critical stance towards the way economists portray economics actors and the economy is replaced by an increasing attention to those whose work involves formatting calculative agencies, among them economists themselves. The question ‘how to write after performativity?’ shifts the attention in a different direction. The focus here is not directed at the economic agents that are performed with economics, but at the research personae enacted with the performativity approach to the economy. To use a cinematographic analogy, it could be said that from this perspective, Callon is seen as a film director, and the researchers informed by his work are like cameramen following his instructions, and, in order to clarify the particular type of personae these researchers enact, what ought to be done first is to clarify the director’s guidelines.

In 1981, a new market place for the trading of table strawberries was set at the commune of Fontaines-en-Sologne in central France. This strawberry market became officially part of the social scientific discussion in 1986, when a paper about the case by Marie-France Garcia-Parpet (2007) was published in Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, the journal Pierre Bourdieu started in 1975. In 1998, Garcia-Parpet’s strawberries began a second life, when Michell Callon used her case study as the central empirical evidence of what it will become the more influential idea of his famous chapters in the edited collection The Laws of the Markets. In fact, Garcia-Parpet’s piece only appeared in English in 2007 when it was included in the edited collection – Do Economists Make Markets? – that consolidated the international academic influence of Callon’s thesis. What Callon did not make explicit in his chapters is that while taking Garcia-Parpet’s basic insight, his conclusions are radically different. In what follows, the modifications Callon introduced in relation to Garcia-Parpet’s case are used as entry points to identify his particular guidelines; the rules set to the research personae to be enacted with the performativity thesis.

Strawberries exchange forever

Continue reading