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Femmes Fatales in Finance, or Women and the City




This paper concerns the representations of women working with finances in popular culture. Popular culture retrieves plots from a common repertoire, and in this way transmits ideals and furnishes descriptions of reality, but it also teaches practices and provides a means through which practices might be understood. Apart from portraying its own era, it also perpetuates strong plots, i.e. established and repeated patterns of emplotment. One such strong plot seems to be persistent in popular culture's representations of women working with finances. Their fate is depicted along the lines known best from Euripides' tragedies: they transgress “women’s place” and commit heroic or mad deeds. By doing so, they might save the city Athens in the case of Euripides, the City in finance stories), but afterwards they must either die or be sent back. The main part of this paper is dedicated to a case that has been reported in two different ways, one supporting the strong plot and one defying it, thus offering material for reflection on the complexity of both the influence of popular culture and the fate of women in finances.

Suggested Citation

  • Czarniawska, Barbara, 2004. "Femmes Fatales in Finance, or Women and the City," GRI-rapport 2004:8, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg Research Institute GRI.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:gungri:2004_008

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    strong plots; Greek tragedy; women in finance; popular culture;

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