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Bankruptcy Bill & Struck Finn

Posts Tagged ‘Anthropology’

Books: Bankruptcy Bill recommends…”Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street” by Karen Ho

Monday, August 10th, 2009

One more book to add to Bankruptcy Bill’s Summer Reading List (though it’s fine to read this in the fall or winter as well).

Liquidated:  An Ethnography of Wall Street by Karen Ho



For this book, Karen Ho, a professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota, actually spent three years working for a Wall Street bank as part of her on-site research, and the investment bankers are referred to as “natives” (in the anthropological parlance).  One of the interesting notions she presents is that the process of using corporate layoffs to improve the share price and bottom line is more correctly viewed as Wall Street exporting its own internal culture–one of insecurity and adaptability–to the rest of corporate America.

Read the Time Magazine interview with Karen Ho here (“An Anthropologist on What’s Wrong with Wall Street“).  The Duke University Press summary here (where you can also purchase the book).  And the American Anthropological Association post about her here.  Below is an interview with Ho from the University of Minnesota’s YouTube channel: