Rethinking calculation: the popularization of financial trading outside the global centres of finance

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The paper looks at the popularization of financial trading in Israel. It presents a qualitative analysis of the calculative models and techniques that are promoted by financial trading schools, service firms and books. Broadly, the popularization of trading in this field involves a focus on ‘technical analysis’ (TA) and relies upon a socio-psychological reading of financial charts. Incorporating explicitly non-economic ideas into traders’ calculative logic – including an emic notion of ‘performativity’ – popular TA constitutes an attempt to ‘reverse’ the making of markets: to calculatively trace price formations back to the minds, hearts and arrangement from which they had allegedly sprung as a means of foreseeing their future shape before it fully materializes. Tying the psyche and the market in a calculative loop, popular TA transcends existing social theories of financial calculation. The paper discusses this challenge and its implications for our understanding of the expansion of finance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-615
Number of pages24
JournalEconomy and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation [grant number 600/14].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.


  • Israel
  • financial calculation
  • financial trading
  • technical analysis
  • the popularization of finance


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