O. Borchert Distinguished Service Professor

Office: Social Sciences 426
Phone: 773-834-3312

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Karin Knorr Cetina is interested in financial markets, knowledge and information, as well as in globalization, theory and culture. Her current projects include a book on global foreign exchange markets and on post-social knowledge societies. She continues to do research on the information architecture of financial markets, on their "global microstructures" (the global social and cultural form these markets take) and on trader markets in contrast to producer markets. She also studies globalization from a microsociological perspective, using an ethnographic approach, and she continues to be interested in "laboratory studies," the study of science, technology and information at the site of knowledge production - particularly in the life sciences and in particle physics.

Knorr Cetina is interested in dissertations having to do with finance and markets, science, and information, and globalization and post-social theory, that is attempts to theorize the role of (material, epistemic, consumer, artificial) objects in social life. Current dissertation students work, for example, on global debt relief technologies and software systems produced within the framework of international organizations, and on the conception, use and production of social robots in different countries. These students use an ethnographic approach to better understand the theoretical and cultural construction and the various dimensions of the respective domains.

Selected Books


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Selected Publications

2011 Maverick Markets. The Virtual Societies of Global Financial Markets (to appear)

2011  (Ed. w/ A. Preda) Handbook of the Sociology of Finance. Oxford University Press.

2010  Financial Analysis: Epistemic Profile of an Evaluative Science. In C. Camic, et al., eds., Knowledge Making, Use and Evaluation in the Social Sciences. University of Chicago Press.

2010  The Epistemics of Information: A Logic of Knowledge Consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture. 10(2):1-31.

2009 What is a Financial Market?  Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Sonderband Wirtschaftssoziologie 49(2009):326-343.

2009  The Synthetic Situation: Interactionism for a Global World.  Symbolic Interaction. 32(1): 61-87.

2008  Microglobalization. In I. Rossi, ed. Frontiers of Globalization Research: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches. New York: Springer, 65-93.

2007 (w/A.Preda) The Temporalization of Financial Markets: From Network Markets to Flow Markets.” Theory, Culture and Society 24(7-8):123–145.

2005  Complex Global Microstructures: The New Terrorist Societies. In J. Urry ed., "Complexity," special issue of Theory, Culture and Society. 22:213-234.

2005  How Are Global Markets Global? The Architecture of a Flow World. In Knorr Cetina & Preda, eds., The Sociology of Financial Markets.

2005  (Ed. w/ A. Preda) The Sociology of Financial Markets. Oxford University Press.

2003  From Pipes to Scopes: The Flow Architecture of Financial Markets. Distinktion. 7: 7-23.

2002 Inhabiting Technology: Features of a Global Lifeform. Current Sociology. July Special Issue on The Sociology of Technology.

2002 (w/ Urs Bruegger) Global Microstructures: The Virtual Societies of Financial Markets. American Journal of Sociology. 107(4): 905-950.

2001  Transparency Regimes and Management by Content in Global Organizations: The Case of Institutional Currency Trading. Journal of Knowledge Management.

2000 (w/ Urs Bruegger) The Market as an Object of Attachment: Exploring Postsocial Relations in Financial Markets. Canadian Journal of Sociology. 25(2): 141-168

2003(1999) Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press (third printing 2003)

1997 Sociality with Objects: Social Relations in Postsocial Knowledge Societies.Theory, Culture and Society. 14(4): 1-30.

1995 How Superorganisms Change: Consensus Formation and the Social Ontology of High-Energy Physics Experiments. Social Studies of Science. 25: 119-47.

1992 The Couch, the Cathedral and the Lab: On the Relationship between Experiment and Laboratory Science. In A. Pickering, ed., Science as Practice and Culture. University of Chicago Press.

1981 The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science. Oxford: Pergamon Press