Finance, Possessed

Sighting Supernatural Figurations in Critical Accounts of the Financial Crisis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In critical accounts of the global financial crisis, public commentators and academic investigators alike have sought to capture the causes and consequences of these disturbing events through figures of the supernatural. This paper sights three such supernatural figures: Vampires, zombies, and ghosts. Whereas the paper explores the figurative qualities and functions of each, the ghost is given special attention for two reasons: First, finance itself may be conceptualized as a fictitious form with no substance, a spirit with no body – a ghost. Second, the ghost is not only a conceptual figure of finance, but also holds a special place in the conceptualization of the figurative on which the paper relies. Thus, the paper is not only concerned with analysing figurative uses of ghosts in accounts of finance, but also with conceptualizing finance and figures as ghostly. As such, the main contribution is conceptual rather than empirical: The paper offers a grid that combines various functions of metaphor – stylistic, transactional, and constitutive – with their appearance in the guises of vampires, zombies, and ghosts, respectively, in the particular context of finance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEphemera: Theory & politics in organization
Volume19
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)129-151
ISSN2052-1499
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • financial crisis
  • metaphor
  • figurtion
  • vampire squid
  • zombie economics
  • spectral finance

Cite this

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title = "Finance, Possessed: Sighting Supernatural Figurations in Critical Accounts of the Financial Crisis",
abstract = "In critical accounts of the global financial crisis, public commentators and academic investigators alike have sought to capture the causes and consequences of these disturbing events through figures of the supernatural. This paper sights three such supernatural figures: Vampires, zombies, and ghosts. Whereas the paper explores the figurative qualities and functions of each, the ghost is given special attention for two reasons: First, finance itself may be conceptualized as a fictitious form with no substance, a spirit with no body – a ghost. Second, the ghost is not only a conceptual figure of finance, but also holds a special place in the conceptualization of the figurative on which the paper relies. Thus, the paper is not only concerned with analysing figurative uses of ghosts in accounts of finance, but also with conceptualizing finance and figures as ghostly. As such, the main contribution is conceptual rather than empirical: The paper offers a grid that combines various functions of metaphor – stylistic, transactional, and constitutive – with their appearance in the guises of vampires, zombies, and ghosts, respectively, in the particular context of finance.",
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Finance, Possessed : Sighting Supernatural Figurations in Critical Accounts of the Financial Crisis. / Just, Sine Nørholm.

In: Ephemera: Theory & politics in organization, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2019, p. 129-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - In critical accounts of the global financial crisis, public commentators and academic investigators alike have sought to capture the causes and consequences of these disturbing events through figures of the supernatural. This paper sights three such supernatural figures: Vampires, zombies, and ghosts. Whereas the paper explores the figurative qualities and functions of each, the ghost is given special attention for two reasons: First, finance itself may be conceptualized as a fictitious form with no substance, a spirit with no body – a ghost. Second, the ghost is not only a conceptual figure of finance, but also holds a special place in the conceptualization of the figurative on which the paper relies. Thus, the paper is not only concerned with analysing figurative uses of ghosts in accounts of finance, but also with conceptualizing finance and figures as ghostly. As such, the main contribution is conceptual rather than empirical: The paper offers a grid that combines various functions of metaphor – stylistic, transactional, and constitutive – with their appearance in the guises of vampires, zombies, and ghosts, respectively, in the particular context of finance.

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