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The Social Pedagogy of Wall Street: Stock Trading as Political Activism?

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Author Info

  • Detlev Zwick

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  • Janice Denegri-Knott

    ()

  • Jonathan Schroeder

    ()

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    Abstract

    In this paper, it is argued that the connectivity of the networked market permits market participants to perceive causal relationships between consumer behaviour and its effects on others. The thesis is put forward that the globally networked markets of the information age give birth to new cognitive structures that underlie consumers’ novel sense of responsibility, aid the re-orientation of consumers’ self-interest, and inculcate in consumers what historian Thomas Haskell calls humanitarian sensibility. Drawing from interviews with individual online investors, a model of the market is presented that posits the market as a source of social consciousness and moral decision-making. Furthermore, it is illustrated that individual online investors often incorporate such sensibilities into their consumer decision-making. Based on these results, the authors propose a corrective to the current trend among economists, social scientists and consumer researchers to conceive of the market as a threat to consumer autonomy, social and moral responsibility and an enlightened citizenry. Instead, it is asserted that the market has many faces, one of which, specifically the globally networked market, provides possibilities to recognize and perform consumption as a critical, moral and socially conscious political act. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10603-007-9037-2
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Consumer Policy.

    Volume (Year): 30 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 177-199

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:30:y:2007:i:3:p:177-199

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100283

    Related research

    Keywords: Virtual networks; Network society; Consumer empowerment; Consumer resistance; Qualitative consumer research; Personal investing;

    References

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    1. Belk, Russell W, 1988. " Possessions and the Extended Self," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 139-68, September.
    2. John Thøgersen, 2005. "How May Consumer Policy Empower Consumers for Sustainable Lifestyles?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 143-177, 06.
    3. Thompson, Craig J & Locander, William B & Pollio, Howard R, 1989. " Putting Consumer Experience Back into Consumer Research: The Philosophy and Method of Existential-Phenomenology," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 133-46, September.
    4. Spiggle, Susan, 1994. " Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 491-503, December.
    5. Nyborg, Karine, 2000. "Homo Economicus and Homo Politicus: interpretation and aggregation of environmental values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 305-322, July.
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