Consecrating the Elite: Culturally Embedding the Financial Market in the City of London

  • Alex Simpson


Simpson explores how financial elites in the City of London interact with the City’s topographical, technological, and social environment to actively (re)produce a dominant cultural system of competitive market behaviour. The chapter begins by sketching the topographical and material environment of the City of London, to show how the extraordinary wealth generated by the financial services industry is etched into the landscape—a physical manifestation of market dominance. Drawing on interview data with financial elites, it then presents the ways in which this institutional and material topography enshrine a distinctive image of success, leading market actors to internalise qualities viewed as characteristic of the ‘perfect market’—speed, intelligence, and discipline—thereby reproducing ‘market reality’.


City of London Financial elites Markets Bourdieu Ethnography 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Simpson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BrightonBrightonUK

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