Performance: An economic sociology conference at Goldsmiths


An all-day conference (9am-6:30pm) on performance in economic sociology will take place at Goldsmiths in London on Wednesday 14 January 2009. Speakers include: Laurent Thevenot, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales; Michael Power, LSE; Nigel Thrift, Warwick; David Stark, Columbia; Koray Caliskan, Boðazçi; Martha Poon, Columbia; Jean-Pascal Gond, Nottingham; and William Davies, Goldsmiths. Places are limited and registration is required. Please see the full announcement below.



9AM-6.30PM, 14TH JANUARY 2009

What does it mean to judge behaviour, economic or otherwise, in terms of performance? In economic spheres we talk of businesses performing and national or regional economies performing. In governmental spheres we construct performance evaluation metrics for public services. Elsewhere, individuals are expected to perform artistically in cultural spheres, physically in sporting spheres. An individual is asked to improve their performance at work or in school; we now even speak of ‘sexual performance’.

Where could this go next? Do state’s perform? Who are the audiences which judge these various performances, and with what authority? How should we understand the concepts of ‘performance anxiety’ or ‘performance enhancement’ in their relationship to the economy? Where does economic performance overlap with artistic performance?

Featuring leading cultural economists and economic sociologists, this conference addresses the intersection between cultural and economic approaches to evaluative criteria, to consider how and why this artistic metaphor pervades the worlds of business, politics, science and individual identities.

Laurent Thevenot, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
Michael Power, LSE
Nigel Thrift, Warwick
David Stark, Columbia
Koray Caliskan, Boðazçi
Martha Poon, Columbia
Jean-Pascal Gond, Nottingham
William Davies, Goldsmiths

This is a free event, but registration in advance is essential, as there are only a limited number of places.

To register, please email your name and your university affiliation to

A more detailed agenda will be shortly be published at

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