August 11, 2009

· Books · Sociology

Besides double espressos in the morning and vodka tonics a bit later in the morning, I mean. Books, books, books.

Social Structures, by John Levi Martin. I started reading this at six o’clock this morning while waiting at my departure gate, which was perhaps unwise. Two flights, five cups of coffee and three muffins later, I am in the middle of Chapter 4 and up to my neck in scribbled marginal notes.

Inventing Equal Opportunity, by Frank Dobbin. I hadn’t heard this one was out, and was very pleased to see it on display.

Backstage at the Revolution: How the Royal Paris Opera Survived the End of the Old Regime, by Victoria Johnson. The Jacobins were bent on destroying the old regime, but neglected to raze the Paris Opera. Why? Victoria Johnson knows.

The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation, by Steven Shapin. The moral dimension of the practice of science. Looks interesting.

Framing Finance, by Alex Preda. From Stock Jobbers to Superquants. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Material Markets: How economic agents are constructed, by Donald MacKenzie. Performativity is like those deep-fried Mars bars you get in Glasgow chippies. An unexpected juxtaposition of properties. Off-putting yet strangely intriguing. You taste it and it makes you feel a little weird. You promise yourself you won’t try that again. The following week you’re on the way home from the pub and you buy another one.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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