Speculative Communities: Living with Uncertainty in a Financialized World
From staggeringly expensive tech IPOs to big bets on the derivatives market, speculation has gripped the financial world. As sociologist Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou argues, however, speculative thinking has had the greater impact, shaping our larger social and political lives. As ordinary people make exceptional decisions, such as the American election of a populist demagogue or the British vote to leave the European Union, they are moving from time-honored and -tested practices of governance toward the speculative promise of a new, more uncertain future. As Speculative Communities shows, even our methods of building community have shifted to the speculative realm as social media platforms enable and amplify our volatile wagers.
Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Social Research Institute, University College London, where he leads the Sociology & Social Theory Research Group. His current book project, tentatively titled Real Fake, is an intellectual history of distortion technologies and myth-making in finance capitalism.