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Observing Finance as a Network of Observations

You can observe a lot just by watching,” says Yogi Berra. I use quips by Yogi as a device to organize a commentary on a paper contributing to observation theory by Elena Esposito. The exchange is published in the online journal Sociologica. Yogi's observation that “The future ain't what it used to be,” turns out to be a nice summary of Esposito's analysis of the role of financial models. The second half of the paper is itself a second-order observation. It uses another viewpoint (that of observation theory) to reinterpret my earlier ethnographic and network analytic research on finance.

Sociologica, 2/2013:1-12.

Esposito-Stark Debate on Observation Theory

Here is the full debate with Elena Esposito on Observation Theory in Sociologica.

The Organization of Responsiveness: Innovation and Recovery in the Trading Rooms of Lower Manhattan

The September 11th attack on the World Trade Center destroyed the trading room where Daniel Beunza and I had been conducting ethnographic research. The traders invited us to witness their recovery, and so Daniel was with them already during the first week after they resumed trading on September 17th. This paper reports on our observations in their makeshift trading room in New Jersey. The breakdown of technology, we argue, is society made visible.

Socio-Economic Review 2003, 1(2):135-164.