Dear COR Community,
You are cordially invited to join us for a conversation on “Infrastructures, Markets and Labor.”
The Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) and the Center for Organizational Research (COR) present: Conversation with Martha Lampland and Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra (Sociology and Sciences Studies, University of California, San Diego)
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway, room 3323
THE SCIENCE OF COMMODIFICATION IN HUNGARY OR, WHAT KIND OF INFRASTRUCTURE IS REQUIRED TO ASSESS THE VALUE OF LABOR?
Martha Lampland, Professor of Sociology and Science Studies, UC San Diego.
How does one quantify the value of an event or put a price on a possibility? This problematic drove mid-20th century work scientists in Hungary to devise scientific means of assessing the value of labor. European work science, a field predating Taylorism and scientific management in the U.S., focused initially in the latter half of the 19th on energy expenditure and bodily movement, but grew in the 20th to encompass occupational psychology and business management. In the 1920s and ‘30s, agrarian work scientists in Hungary intent on increasing labor productivity at large manorial estates (latifundia) devoted themselves to figuring out how to assess the value of labor at a time when there was no labor market in agriculture and virtually all wages were paid in kind. They faced numerous difficulties collecting data and enrolling wealthy landowners in their scientific project. The situation changed when the Communist Party took power in 1948, at which time their advice was solicited to help create a scientifically vetted wage scheme for cooperative farms. As a consequence, I have argued, the commodification of labor—the process whereby a wide variety of tasks conducted by disparate groups in many places were rendered commensurate for the purposes of hiring employees and paying them for their services—was achieved under the tutelage of a socialist party/state, rendering market processes superfluous.
MARTHA LAMPLAND is Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1987. She has been a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and a Research Fellow at the Humanities Research Institute at the University of California, Irvine. Professor Lampland served as managing editor of the _Journal of Historical Sociology _(1996-2002). Lampland has published on a range of topics in Hungarian history and society: labor, gender, instinct and class, state formation, decollectivization, jokes, state planning, and the pragmatics of numbers. Her most recent book, _The Value of Labor.
The Science of Commodification in Hungary (1920-1956), _was published in 2016 by the University of Chicago Press.
AUTOMATING MARKETS: INFRASTRUCTURES, ENGINEERS, AND THE RE-MAKING OF KINSHIP IN GLOBAL FINANCE
Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Science Studies, UC San Diego.
What happens when we imagine markets through the lens of relations? One possibility is to evoke metaphors of kinship and family as ways of understanding the elements of markets and their changes though time. This is precisely the perspective adopted in this book, where I explore the automation of British and American finance by examining how entrepreneurial engineers changed stock markets from a space of face-to-face interactions to domain algorithms and high speed electronic signals. By analyzing how market technologists created systems that altogether changed the organizations they inhabited, the book also shows how novel relations emerged within the market, substituting old structures of exchange, trust and belonging with new devices and techniques. The process was not seamless, though, and involved struggles for control, legitimacy, and resources within and out with the market and its many organizations.
JUAN PABLO PARDO-GUERRA is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Pardo-Guerra has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and was faculty at the London School of Economics and Political Science before joining the University of California, San Diego, in 2015. His work centers on technologies in finance, but also touches upon art markets, big data, and evaluation practices. His forthcoming book, _The Orders of Finance: Infrastructures, Engineers, and the Automation of Global Finance_, will be published by MIT Press.
For more information, please contact IMTFI, email@example.com or 949-824-2284
An excerpt from Martha Lampland’s recent book, and Juan Pablo Pardo-Guerra’s forthcoming book, are available upon request: please email Ursula Dalinghaus, firstname.lastname@example.org