Tag Archives: Devising

Where do groovy markets come from? A conversation with Liz McFall

Liz McFall (Head of the Department of Sociology at the Open University, one of the editors of the Journal of Cultural Economy and site manager of Charisma-Market Studies) has been crafting a very distinctive approach, in the context of recent SSF, to finance. She doesn’t write about esoteric derivatives but about domestic financial goods such as insurance and consumer lending. Most of her research is based on historical data, not on interviews or participant observation, and her conceptual interest is not calculation, rankings or formulae but charisma. In this conversation, carried out last May in Copenhagen, I use McFall’s last book Devising Consumption. Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending as an excuse to make her expand on some of the characteristic features of her work.

Q1. Devising Consumption has five main chapters, accordingly have I prepared five questions, although, and I am sorry for that, my questions neither follow the order of the book nor do they necessarily correspond to particular chapters. Continue reading

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Devising or agencing markets?

[Como parte de nuestra colaboración inter-redes publicamos este post invitado de Liz McFall conjuntamente con Charisma-Network. La nota es en inglés pero, como siempre, comentarios en español y portugués son muy bienvenidos]

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Valparaiso in Chile, where Joe Deville and I were taken by Charisma folk Tomas Ariztía and José Ossandón in the summer of 2012, is built around an amphitheatre looking towards the Pacific Ocean and north towards the neighbouring hills. It is a city constantly growing towards higher land.

The urban fabric … adapting to the slopes, generates its own language: one on top of another, the buildings position themselves to ensure command over the view, the sun, and proper ventilation. The volumes climb, rotate, or hang from streets that draw any degree of horizontal elevation, or on a slope, and take over the hillsides, the banks, or the encounter of the hills with the plain.  

This geo-architecture makes for some challenging market encounters since sharp corners and steep rises constantly fracture lines of sight (as you can’t quite see in the photo). Valparaiso endures as a city with a mercantile imagination to match its history but the adaptive ingenuity of this device still fascinated me. Continue reading