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Anthropologists in the Stock ExchangeA Financial History of Victorian Science$
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Marc Flandreau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226360300

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226360584.001.0001

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Acts of Speculation

Acts of Speculation

(p.124) Chapter Six Acts of Speculation
Anthropologists in the Stock Exchange

Marc Flandreau

University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides an account of the “bona fides” man in Victorian Britain. It elaborates on a heretofore unnoticed parallel between financial history and the history of sciences. Both separately emphasize the role of certain forms of sociability (in particular something conventionally referred to as “gentlemanliness”) and their relation to trust. This chapter provides an economic interpretation to the parallel, underscoring that, seen as a social technology, gentlemanliness served an identical purpose in both science and finance: It helped to make statements credible. This explains the overlap between scientific truths and financial truths and enables one to explain the sociological aspects of the disputes between the Anthropological Society and the Ethnological Society and the ritualization of scientific performances.

Keywords:   bona fides, trust, gentlemanly science, gentlemanly capitalism, displays, rituals, gentlemanliness

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