Last week, Routledge published the new edited volume by Valerie Boussard, Finance at Work, to which I contributed a chapter. From the back cover: “Finance at Work explores the world of financiers, be they finance-oriented CEOs, CFOs, financial journalists, mergers and acquisitions’ advisors or wealth managers.” The edited volume results from the Finance at Work symposium, held in 2014 at the University of Nanterre Paris Ouest.
My chapter, based on the paper I presented at the conference, analyzes how the field of finance is constituted through its interactions with outsiders. It follows the attempts of the AFL-CIO Committee for the Investment of Union Pension Funds to start its own employee-buyout fund, the Employee Partnership Fund (EPF), in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Based on original archival research, the chapter exposes the social boundaries separating the financial sector from organized labor, while illustrating the diffusion of financial sector norms and practices through the EPF project. In the chapter, I argue that the case of the EPF shows how financial expansion occurs through the socialization of critical outsiders into the world of finance.
A pre-publication version of the chapter can be found here.