Establishing a disciplining financial disposition in the City of London: resilience, speed and intelligence

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Examining the strategies, investments and values employed by finance workers in the City of London, this article draws on interview and ethnographic data to develop a culturally dominant ‘financial disposition’. Manifesting as an overarching strategy of discipline, and identifying the interlocking performative values of resilience, speed and intelligence, the findings articulate how finance workers invest in a system of practical and cognitive social relations to uphold an ideologically coherent system of ‘frictionless’ financial exchange. In doing so, the article allows us to see how an ideologically dominant market order, which is overwhelmingly subject to structural levels of analysis, establishes a set of durable yet adaptable social relations that contribute to the production of a coherent market system. It is a development that gives new meaning to the ways individuals adapt and contribute to the reproduction of material and structural relations and come to characterise the financial experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1076
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Early online date18 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Bourdieu
  • City of London
  • cultural finance studies
  • discipline
  • dispositions
  • intelligence
  • resilience
  • speed


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