Liquidated has ratings and 43 reviews. BlackOxford said: Against ExcellenceIf you want to understand the source and the consequences of the rhetori. Book Reviews Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street. Karen Ho. Durham, NC : Duke University Press, pp. $, paper. Karen Ho is a member of. In Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street, Karen Ho introduces us to the culture of smartness on Wall Street—its perpetuation, its sustainability.

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She was a graduate student in the Ivy League and she saw her peers go into the Street, so she did what any good anthropologist would do — she went native to study the flora and fauna of Wall Street. Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought. Feb 27, Xavier Cousens rated it it was amazing. No trivia or quizzes yet.

It’s only for the “best”, the “brightest” and the slavishly hard-working. Apr 25, Donna rated it it was amazing.

Oct 06, Lewis rated it it was amazing.

Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street by Karen Ho

I think the book could have been pages shorter and perhaps made her major points clearer and more accessible to a wider audience who needs this type of book.

Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image. Apr 13, Veronica rated it really liked it Shelves: In it, she looks at the prevailing orthodoxies of the natives and tries to debunk them, amongst these are shareholder value and the benefit of so many hours at your desk free food and a car service help Ho writes the book that I think I would have written, had I been born in different circumstances.

She wrote this right before the crash in ‘ They are paid handsomely, with the understanding that they may be let go at any time. That book lacked in its breadth since it only really examined the situations of five or six people, where Ho tries to generalize her experience, and in my reading, she is much more effective than Roose was.

Anthropology Goes to Wall Street. An interesting read on the culture of investment bank s,ers,ing and how the narrow field of backgrounds and ideologies feeds a cycle of behaviors seen alternately as being right or being the only possible actions. They think or are convinced that by all this buying and selling and strfet, they are making the economy more efficient by ethnogrzphy corporations that are inefficient and delivering more “shareholder value.


Sometimes anthropologists have an extremely annoying way of writing so this took forever to get through, but it was worth it. It is more academic than popular press. Talk about a missed opportunity! A central irony for Ho is that while investment bankers and other market players are driven by an ideology of shareholder value—that is, they believe that their advice is guided by their commitment to maximize value for stockholders—in fact, the actions they recommend to corporate leaders, [End Page ] such as merging, acquiring, laying off workers, and selling off units, rarely increase shareholder value more than momentarily.

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Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street

It describes, in part, the metamorphosis of the corporation as solid entity to a lava lamp-like liquidity with emphasis on share-holder value. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business. Not much of this was terribly surprising to me, having temped at corporations, including some who bought up failing companies! The tool of this culture is language.

She was an anthropology grad student who took a sabbatical to work on Wall Street; her ethnography is based on both her experiences during the year she worked there and interviews with the contacts she made during her work.

Ho is an anthropologist who lived and worked among the natives of Financeland and survived to tell about it. Or is it an intelligent way of operating in a competitive, rapidly changing global business? Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

In so doing, she makes an important contribution to the social study of finance and economic sociology. The author is also thorough in noting the many ways in which the rhetoric of the financial industry shareholder values; pay for performance; increased efficiency; employing the best and the brightest; etc. An Ethnography of Wall Street. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

The problem is that Roose sthnography experience writing for a popular audience every day. That is how the banks sell themselves when they recruit — the places where the smartest people work.


A fascinating and important book. After hearing her speak at the U of M and engaging in discussion with her, I feel more confident in her knowledge of Wall Street, financial crises, and social culture; however, I did not get answers to my questions regarding actual hard number statistics to back up the theories.

Must read if you are interested in economic sociology, sociology of financial markets, etc. Actually, even faculty of our elite schools are starting to question why so many of their graduates end up in finance. By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U. Carrier, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. The wall An interesting read on the culture ethnogrzphy investment bank s,ers,ing and how the narrow field of backgrounds and ideologies feeds a cycle of behaviors seen alternately as being right or being the only possible actions.

Tosi and Jennifer M. Nov 05, Melanie rated it really liked it. If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.

Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street – Karen Ho – Google Books

Wall Street is probably still a place that attracts the same super-smart assholes who think they are better than everyone sttreet and then go try to prove it by working like crazy selling financial products that generate fees.

Paperbackpages. Jan 08, Fluffy Singler rated it it was amazing Shelves: The recent financial crisis follows logically from the culture. The author is one of my professors at the University of MN. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. In LiquidatedKaren Ho punctures the aura of ethngraphy abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed.

Refresh and try again. Karen Ho provides great insights into the workings and culture of finance. You can probably skip those and still get the main message.

Leading investment banks pride themselves on skimming from the top of a very small number of elite universities Harvard, Princeton, and a few other “hyperelite” institutions like the Wharton School.