IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Detlev Zwick


  • Janice Denegri-Knott


  • Jonathan Schroeder



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

Suggested Citation

  • Detlev Zwick & Janice Denegri-Knott & Jonathan Schroeder, 2007. "The Social Pedagogy of Wall Street: Stock Trading as Political Activism?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 177-199, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:30:y:2007:i:3:p:177-199
    DOI: 10.1007/s10603-007-9037-2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Spiggle, Susan, 1994. " Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 491-503, December.
    2. Belk, Russell W, 1988. " Possessions and the Extended Self," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 139-168, September.
    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, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 133-146, September.
    4. John Thøgersen, 2005. "How May Consumer Policy Empower Consumers for Sustainable Lifestyles?," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 143-177, June.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:30:y:2007:i:3:p:177-199. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.