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Women in financial services: fiction and more fiction

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  • Czarniawska, Barbara

    ()
    (Gothenburg Research Institute)

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    Abstract

    At the peak of the "new economy", the Swedish newspapers were reporting an interesting fact: women were entering financial services, joining not the old-fashioned occupational groups such as bank clerks, but the avant-garde: traders and analysts. This is accompanied by a growing interest of popular culture media in the phenomenon of women in finances. This paper analyzes their approach, beginning with a Swedish detective story "Star Crash", whose theme is a crash of the stock exchange and its impact on Stockholm world of finances. One of the main characters in the novel is a young woman analyst.A genre of detective story has its rules, and a dramatization of events and a demonization of characters belong to most prominent. Nevertheless the character thus created deserves attention, as its construction makes (often unintentional) use of the accessible cultural material. "The construction of the character" can be seen as highly significant as it reflects the received image of today's finances (inside and outside the finance circles). While there is no doubt of the fictitiousness of this character, the message (perhaps subliminal) is heavy: the world of finances is no place for women. Those who made it there, are "unnatural" – twice everything else the men are, especially the vice. While the novel contains many reflexive men, acutely aware of traps and dangers connected to this world, women, it seems, can only be the victims – and the perpetrators – in it. This view is further confirmed by ethnographic studies of women in finances and mass media reporting.

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    File URL: http://gup.ub.gu.se/gup/record/index.xsql?pubid=38595
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg Research Institute GRI in its series GRI-rapport with number 2004:3.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: 28 Jan 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhb:gungri:2004_003

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    Postal: Gothenburg Research Institute, Box 600, SE 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
    Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/gri/
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    Related research

    Keywords: financial markets; fiction; women in male dominated professions;

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    Cited by:
    1. Czarniawska, Barbara, 2008. "Accounting and gender across times and places: An excursion into fiction," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 33-47, January.

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