Skip to main content

Arbitrage, Uncertainty and the New Ethos of Capitalism

Mellor, Philip A., Shilling, Chris (2016) Arbitrage, Uncertainty and the New Ethos of Capitalism. The Sociological Review, 65 (1). pp. 21-36. ISSN 0038-0261. E-ISSN 1467-954X. (doi:10.1111/1467-954X.12416)

MS Word (Arbitrage, Uncertainty and the New Ethos of Capitalism) - Author's Accepted Manuscript
Download (70kB)
[img]
PDF (Arbitrage, Uncertainty and the New Ethos of Capitalism) - Author's Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication Download (462kB)
[img]
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.12416

Abstract

This paper examines the arbitrageur as a figure who both embodies the new ethos of uncertainty central to ‘financialised’ capitalism, and exemplifies the issues of ethics and innovation raised by those who now personify what Weber called the ‘devotion to the calling of making money’. We begin by providing a brief background to financial ‘abstraction’ in the economy, and the issues of dissimulation with which this has been associated, before suggesting that engaging creatively with Weber’s writings can help us identify uncertainty as key to the character of contemporary financial decision-making. It is against this background that we analyse the arbitrageur as an ideal-type personality who embodies a newly abstract approach to capitalism. This approach is frequently portrayed as unethical, but we suggest it can be associated with an ethics of managing the unknown through an innovative commitment to overcoming limits that has consequences for human life in general.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1467-954X.12416
Uncontrolled keywords: arbitrage, capitalism, uncertainty, Weber, bio-politics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology
Depositing User: Lisa Towers
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2016 09:48 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:13 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/54980 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year