On July 1st, 2016 the workshop ‘Social Studies of the Economy in Latin America’ took place at the Science and Technology Studies Department, University College London. The meeting convened a number of outstanding academics, including several contributors to this blog. Because the topics discussed are of central concern to this group, we are taking the opportunity to share some impressions.
The workshop aimed to discuss leading research that offers a close-up examination of economic life. In particular, it was oriented to ethnographic research that sheds light on the multiple ways in which the economy, culture and technology intersect, and in which the economy as an object is constituted and performed. Elaborating on previous research into the world of economic policy-making and expertise, the media’s role in public economic discussion, the nature of economic calculation and its material devices, and the variety of economic knowledges, the workshop focused on the social studies of the economy in Latin America. At least three common threads emerged from the discussion.
First, Mariana Heredia, Federico Neiburg and Ana Gross’ papers examined disputes concerning consumer price indexes, the representations of inflation, and, more broadly, the way in which public numbers – their construction, treatment, publication, etc. – affects the economy. A second common thread between the papers was the attention paid to economic knowledge and economic practices. Continue reading