Theory
Explaining financial crisis and conceptualising capitalism
in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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This chapter moves from a discussion of attempts to theorise the post-2008 economic crisis, to one of wider efforts to theorise the political-economic trajectory of the UK and similar nation-states. It then presents some reflections on the relationship between large-scale historical and theoretical explanation and small-scale ethnographic research. The chapter tries to live up to the standard: first, by surveying a range of causal processes that clearly combine into a set of relevant causal explanations; second, by at least suggesting some sort of prioritisation, or 'hierarchy' of causes; and finally, by distinguishing between more proximate causes of the banking crisis, and more long-term causes of the crisis and the direction of economic change generally. For Wolfgang Streeck the three decades following World War II, in which capitalism and democracy appeared to grow in compatible ways in 'the West', were an exception to the rule.

Salvage ethnography in the financial sector

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