Hirokazu Miyazaki - Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University
The recent global financial crisis has prompted broad and radical rethinking of the place of human values in capitalism. In this lecture, I revisit the expanded visions of humanity presented by Malinowski and Mauss in their respective theories of the gift and consider their implications for the ongoing debate about financial markets and their regulation. Toward this end, I examine a variety of business practices, intellectual ventures and personal dreams inspired by the idea of arbitrage in the career trajectories of a group of Japanese derivatives traders in Tokyo from 1987-2010. My investigation focuses on the extent to which the logic of finance has served these traders as an intellectual resource for developing critiques of capitalism and expanded visions of humanity.