Anthropology, financial expansion and its relationalities from “marginal sites”: An introduction
In this introduction we map the tradition of thoughts and state of the art on the study of finance and financialization in relation to the anthropological Italian debate. We suggest a particular attention towards ethnographic approaches “from the margins” of finance that can help build a non unilinear and west-centric agenda for studying financial expansion also in the Italian context. Then we discuss conceptual trends on financial expansion that emerged in the international anthropological debate after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), underlining a shift from the “double movement” analysis to the rediscovery and the reframing of relational approach. Thinking of financialization beyond the dualistic interpretative prism that sets finance against society, movement against counter movement, center against periphery we invite to conceptualize financial expansion as the result of a variety of independent but related processes which must be apprehended holistically. We consider ethnography as an opportunity to unravel the multiple spatial and temporal axes and kinds of processes that constitute financial expansion. When analyzed ethnographically, financialization seems to proceed by simultaneous movements and countermovement resulting from the confrontation among increasingly financialized subjects. This interactive practice produces attempts that, despite the power asymmetries, might result in unplanned transformative outcomes.
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