U prof talks anthropology of Wall Street

by Andrew Mannix

University anthropology professor Karen Ho recently sat down with TIME to talk about the findings in her new book, Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street.  


In the Q-&-A, Ho — a former Wall Streeter who always retained a naturalist’s eye — discusses her theory of the "liquidated" American worker. This is characterized largely by a system of high-level insecurity learned from Wall Street and adopted by the rest of the country.


"What I found in my research was that in many ways investment bankers and how they approach work became a model for how work should be conducted. Wall Street shapes not just the stock market but also the very nature of employment and what kinds of workers are valued…The idea is that there’s a lot of dead wood out there and people should be constantly moving, in lockstep with the market," Ho says.