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    Rethinking the Concept of a ‘Financial Elite’: A Critical Intervention

    Moran, Marie and Flaherty, Eoin (2022) Rethinking the Concept of a ‘Financial Elite’: A Critical Intervention. Critical Sociology. 089692052211433. ISSN 1569-1632

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    While the concept of a ‘financial elite’ has become prominent within politics and the social sciences, it is not clear what value it holds for the analysis of inequalities of income, wealth and power under financial capitalism. Who are the financial elite, and what distinguishes them from other economically powerful groups? We delineate ‘distributive’, ‘categorical’ and ‘relational’ approaches to financial elites, arguing that various unresolved tensions have hampered clarification of the differentia specifica of the concept, and blunted its normative significance. We develop a new concept of financial elites that combines insights from elite studies and financialisation studies. We argue that the financial elite possess not only high incomes, but income primarily derived from ‘rentier’ channels, as endowed by the institutional structures of financialisation. Financial elites demonstrate the capacity not only to capitalise on these new accumulation channels, but to shape the institutional and regulatory landscapes in which they operate.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: elite studies, financialisation, political economy, elites, financial elites; inequality; power; rentierism;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 17058
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Eoin Flaherty
    Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2023 11:22
    Journal or Publication Title: Critical Sociology
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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