Special issue: ‘Finance – tales of experiment and defiance’

Journal of Cultural Economy, vol. 15 no. 1 (2022).
Edited by Daniel Seabra Lopes, Ines Faria and Sandra Faustino.

With contributions from the editors, Alexandre Abreu, Ismail Erturk, Steffen Dalsgaard and more.

This special issue addresses a series of post-2008 financial developments by mobilising the concept of the tale, understood as a discursive artefact composed of a meaningful story or script that serves to separate good from evil, make sense of historical situations, stimulate action, and prefigure scenarios. Unlike standard workplace narratives, which are useful for practical decision-making, tales have strong collective and political connotations. As such, they assume two distinct forms: tales of ‘experiment,’ stemming from innovative projects that seek to transform the financial system from within, and tales of ‘defiance,’ which deal with the more ample changes that horizontal and disobedient practices prefigure. Several analytical coordinates are proposed in order to capture the semiotic and pragmatic natures of the tale. Regarding semiotics, tales involve not only themes and motifs but also polysemic metaphors and what are here defined as processes of characterisation, through which persons or institutions are positioned as characters and assume specific roles within a story. As for the pragmatic dimension, tales mobilise people toward specific functions and address audiences while also relying on material infrastructure to embed some of the content they convey.


(Lopes, Faria and Faustino, 2022)