|dc.description.abstract||Drawing on recent discussions of relational embeddedness and socio-technical
agencement, this thesis analyses the relationship between stock trading and lay
investors’ daily lives, including their social relations, activities, events, devices,
places, work and ways of thinking. Taiwan’s stock market provides an appropriate
location for investigation because of the dominance of lay investors in the market
and the high proportion of Taiwan’s adult population who engage in stock trading.
The data were obtained from three main sets of sources: in-depth interviews,
document analysis and ethnographic observation. I argue that lay market actors are
not only framed by the market’s mechanisms, but also by daily-life structures.
The Taiwan Stock Exchange, as an electronic, anonymous financial market,
has been a challenge to the embeddedness approach due to the absence of direct
interaction between the parties to transactions. This study presents another aspect of
socio-economic relationships in the market: the role of financial-market activity in
wider social interactions. Like taking part in any popular social activity, lay
investors’ social ties are maintained and expended by engaging in stock trading.
Social relations and stock trading are woven together and form a largely seamless
whole, part of lay investors’ daily life.
The socio-technical agencements of lay investors contain distinctive features:
diversity, bricolage, use of non-professional ‘devices’, action in non-financial places,
everyday means of controlling market risk and association with everyday events. The
differences between the agencements of lay investors and professional practitioners
produce an asymmetry of calculative capabilities between market actors. Superior
calculative capabilities tend to give an advantage to professional practitioners in the
market, but these strengths are constrained by political and economic factors.
This study sheds light on micro social factors, which are comparable with
economic, institutional and psychological explanations, in accounting for lay
investors’ behaviours in financial markets. The analysis also suggests the
compatibility of the three important social science approaches to economic agents:
Granovetter’s embeddedness, Zelizer’s relational work and Callon’s agencement.||en_US