This essay uses the credit crisis as an example to illuminate what a social approach to the financial markets would look like. We sketch out a theoretical and thematic journey whose end is to make the social so visible that a better appreciation of the financial field comes into focus. To do this, we foreground the issues of the production of the market (as a socially imagined totality), the evolution of a habitus of work founded on a speculative ethos, and the construction of an economistic ideology (or illusio) that conceals the social character of financial markets and financial work. Theoretically, we fashion a more social account by developing a notion of performativity that does away with the (now conventional) opposition between the objective structure of the market and the subjective agency of its participant.

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