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The path to economic crisis in Scotland
Author: Jonathan Hearn

This book takes a body of ethnographic data collected in 2001-2, during a year's fieldwork at the Bank of Scotland (BoS) and HBOS, and revisits it from the perspective of the 2014-16 period. It explores the tension between the 'ethnographic present' of the author's original research and the unavoidable alteration of perspective on that data that the economic crisis has created. The original research had been planned to take place in the BoS but in 2001, before the research began, BoS had merged with the Halifax to form HBOS. The book provides a long-term historical perspective on BoS/HBOS, from inception to the 2008 financial crisis, and then a consideration of the nature of historical explanation, under the rubric of 'theory'. The main attempts to explain the proximate causes of the 2008 crisis, as well as more encompassing political economic arguments about the trajectory and dynamics of capitalism are examined. The concept of 'culture' as applied to both national groups, Scots and English, and organizations, BoS and Halifax, are also dealt with. The book examines other governing concepts such as organisational change in the business world and social change, identity and the way Scottish and English experience their own personhood, and comparative nature of ethnographic research. The conclusion reviews and draws together the themes of the book, returning to the overarching question of historical perspective and explanation.

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Managing multiple embodiments in the life drawing class
Rebecca Collins

particularly useful at engendering the slow contemplation and critical reflexivity demanded in order to immerse oneself in the field of inquiry, and, in turn, to enable embodied learning to inform understanding. While artistic and creative practices can be – and are – combined with a range of (primarily) qualitative research methods, much recent research has embedded them within ethnographic, or auto-ethnographic, work (e.g. O’Connor, 2007 ; Paton, 2013 ). In such projects researchers have been firmly, often deeply, embedded in their practice, either as long

in Mundane Methods
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Doing ethnography and thinking comparatively
Jonathan Hearn

7 Comparison: doing ethnography and thinking comparatively The concept of comparison that shapes this chapter functions somewhat differently from the concepts organising the previous three chapters (culture, change and identity). Those served as analytic lenses to bring out particular dimensions of the data. Comparison here is primarily a matter of relating the ethnographic data to other experiences which lie beyond that research. I am using comparison to draw out further themes from the data, and to revisit some we have already explored, but also to pull back

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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Ethnography, history and the vagaries of research
Jonathan Hearn

1 Introduction: ethnography, history and the vagaries of research This book takes a body of ethnographic data collected in 2001–2, during a year’s fieldwork at the Bank of Scotland and HBOS, and revisits it from the perspective of the present, that is, the time of writing this book (c.2014–16). That present is one in which the global banking and financial crisis that emerged around 2008 has had devastating effects on several banks, including this one. My original research had been planned to take place in the Bank of Scotland (BoS) but earlier in 2001, before

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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Jonathan Hearn

’. It also has to partake of some of the current difficulties of its new parent organisation. These include charges of money laundering (along with other banks) made by the US government, charges of tax avoidance brought by HM Revenue and Customs and recent ongoing repayments to customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance. But none of these controversies seem to pose fundamental threats to Lloyds plc. They are in a sense par-for-the-course problems for contemporary large banking groups. The Salvage Ethnography.indb 123 24/05/2017 15:07:39 124 Salvage

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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Explaining financial crisis and conceptualising capitalism
Jonathan Hearn

3 Theory: explaining financial crisis and conceptualising capitalism This chapter provides a theoretical frame, both for abstracting more general lessons from the historical account in Chapter 2 and for putting the more fine-grained, micro-level, ethnographic perspective of the following chapters in an interpretive context. After a brief discussion of the purpose of theorising in this instance, the body of the chapter will move from a discussion of attempts to theorise the post2008 economic crisis, to one of wider efforts to theorise the political

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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Discourses of agency and progress in organisational change
Jonathan Hearn

efforts to manage staff in an unstable environment, and an existential issue experienced at an often intensely personal level. I begin with some ethnographic examples of how change was being articulated and wrestled with in some of the staff training courses I attended. Then in the middle, as in the previous chapter, I offer an ‘interlude’ of more theoretical reflections on the concept of social change and its relevance to the material. I then return to look more closely at aspects of how change was being represented in everyday talk and experienced by bank staff (see

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
Capturing ordinary human–animal encounters
Becky Tipper

An ethnography of everyday encounters with creatures Ethnographic research offers a way of attending closely to people's ordinary, lived experience – practising the ‘art of listening’ that Les Back ( 2007 ) argues should drive the sociological endeavour. Here, I discuss the use of a neighbourhood ethnography which explored one aspect of everyday British life: people's encounters with animals. 1 Creatures of all kinds are enmeshed in ordinary human lives: people eat them, own them, live alongside them. We might take their presence for

in Mundane Methods
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Jonathan Hearn

Epilogue The original context of this research was the Leverhulme Nations and Regions Research Programme described in Chapter 1 and questions of the impact of constitutional change in the UK on national identity. While the ethnography itself was not directly concerned with the politics of nationalism and devolution, it perhaps makes sense here, at the end, to step back and relate the present account to the evolving politics of nationalism, interacting with economic instability, in the years since the fieldwork to the time of writing.1 One point the Leverhulme

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
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Nations, banks and the organisation of power and social life
Jonathan Hearn

social science concept of culture more closely and critically in the middle of this chapter. First, I provide some examples, drawing on field notes, of how culture appeared in my fieldwork. Ethnographic intimations The term ‘culture’ and its problematisation arose in preliminary scoping meetings I had even before regular fieldwork had begun. My entry into the Bank as a field site had been negotiated between figures at fairly high levels in both the Bank of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh, mobilising social connections and organisational ties. Three people in

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector