Salvage ethnography in the financial sector

The path to economic crisis in Scotland

By Jonathan Hearn

Salvage ethnography in the financial sector


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8799-8
  • Pages: 160
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: July 2017
  • BIC Category: Finance, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography, Sociology, Social & cultural anthropology, Finance, Banking, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Banks & Banking, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Finance / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural, Scotland, Banking
  • Series: New Ethnographies


This book is based on ethnographic research from 2001-2, during Bank of Scotland's first year of merger with Halifax to form HBOS. The research is revisited from the present perspective in the wake of the global banking and financial crisis that undermined HBOS in 2008. This historical perspective on the ethnographic data is used to explore: people's responses to the pressures of heightened competition and organisational change; mutual and sometimes antagonistic perceptions of Scottish and English identities across the two merged banks; conflicting evaluations of national and organisational cultures; and the challenges of integrating ethnographic and historical perspectives in a single study. As an historical ethnography it 'salvages' a disappearing culture of Scottish and UK banking, disintegrated by neoliberal processes.


Series editor's foreword
1. Introduction: ethnography, history and the vagaries of research
2. History: from Bank of Scotland's origins to HBOS and crisis
3. Theory: explaining financial crisis and conceptualising capitalism
4. Culture: nations, banks and the organisation of power and social life
5. Change: discourses of agency and progress in organisational change
6. Identity: struggles with personhood, nationhood and professional virtue
7. Comparison: doing ethnography and thinking comparatively
8. Conclusion


Jonathan Hearn is Professor of Political and Historical Sociology at the University of Edinburgh

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