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Mediating the Crisis: Revisionary Economics in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street Films


Loren, Scott (2018). Mediating the Crisis: Revisionary Economics in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street Films. In: Parvulescu, Constantin. Global Finance on Screen: From Wall Street to Side Street. London: Taylor & Francis, 123-140.

Abstract

States of Crises: representational economies and conjunctural contexts In April 2012 the US Treasury Department estimated the total loss of household wealth resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis to be 19.2 trillion USD (Childress, 2012). This figure does not account for a number of mid- and long-term effects, such as the impact on prior homeowners who became less socially mobile through the 2008 subprime crisis and whose future contribution to the economy would continue to be severely limited as a result. As a local estimate based on domestic losses, it also could not take into account the vastly larger picture of collateral damage across world markets and economies that ensued. Worldwide recession in the wake of the 2008 US subprime mortgage crisis was of such epic proportions, it seemed to herald the end of neoliberalism (Grantham and Miller, 2010). And while the crisis generated a new wave of critical commentary on the hegemony of financialization in neoliberal economics, it also lead individuals, organizations and institutions to question their own habits and worldviews; to consider how they might have contributed to the crisis; and to ask what might be done as a corrective measure (cf. Plehwe, Walpen and Neuenhöffer 2006). In the humanities and social sciences there has been growing consensus on the need to rethink neoliberal economics: not as a field of institutional power moving uniformly forward with intention, but one characterized by internal conflict, decentralization and imbrication in broadly diverse social institutions and cultural practices. My aim is thus an exposition and application of Grossberg’s injunction to conceptually pluralize and conjunctively contextualize notions of the economic, and thus counteract discursive practices that close down potential for critical reevaluation through reductionist or essentialist logics. In practical application, my method entails a comparative analysis of aesthetic economies that represent conceptually plural and historically contextualized notions of the economic in the opening scenes of Stone’s Wall Street films. This comparative reading aims to make each of Grossberg points graspable in novel but pragmatic ways. In a second step, I attempt to make more intelligible potential degrees to which inter-referential discursive meaning production can be plural and complex in symbolic (conceptual) and material (aesthetic) economies of filmic representation; and will do so in a close reading of visual economies in a key scene from Stone’s second Wall Street film, Money Never Sleeps. While the comparative analysis of representational economies each contentiously articulating historically specific conjunctures has a higher level of theoretical correlation in conjunctural analysis, the close reading of plural and complex visual economies finds more explicitly employs media archaeological methods.

Abstract

States of Crises: representational economies and conjunctural contexts In April 2012 the US Treasury Department estimated the total loss of household wealth resulting from the subprime mortgage crisis to be 19.2 trillion USD (Childress, 2012). This figure does not account for a number of mid- and long-term effects, such as the impact on prior homeowners who became less socially mobile through the 2008 subprime crisis and whose future contribution to the economy would continue to be severely limited as a result. As a local estimate based on domestic losses, it also could not take into account the vastly larger picture of collateral damage across world markets and economies that ensued. Worldwide recession in the wake of the 2008 US subprime mortgage crisis was of such epic proportions, it seemed to herald the end of neoliberalism (Grantham and Miller, 2010). And while the crisis generated a new wave of critical commentary on the hegemony of financialization in neoliberal economics, it also lead individuals, organizations and institutions to question their own habits and worldviews; to consider how they might have contributed to the crisis; and to ask what might be done as a corrective measure (cf. Plehwe, Walpen and Neuenhöffer 2006). In the humanities and social sciences there has been growing consensus on the need to rethink neoliberal economics: not as a field of institutional power moving uniformly forward with intention, but one characterized by internal conflict, decentralization and imbrication in broadly diverse social institutions and cultural practices. My aim is thus an exposition and application of Grossberg’s injunction to conceptually pluralize and conjunctively contextualize notions of the economic, and thus counteract discursive practices that close down potential for critical reevaluation through reductionist or essentialist logics. In practical application, my method entails a comparative analysis of aesthetic economies that represent conceptually plural and historically contextualized notions of the economic in the opening scenes of Stone’s Wall Street films. This comparative reading aims to make each of Grossberg points graspable in novel but pragmatic ways. In a second step, I attempt to make more intelligible potential degrees to which inter-referential discursive meaning production can be plural and complex in symbolic (conceptual) and material (aesthetic) economies of filmic representation; and will do so in a close reading of visual economies in a key scene from Stone’s second Wall Street film, Money Never Sleeps. While the comparative analysis of representational economies each contentiously articulating historically specific conjunctures has a higher level of theoretical correlation in conjunctural analysis, the close reading of plural and complex visual economies finds more explicitly employs media archaeological methods.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:13 Sep 2018 06:51
Last Modified:13 Sep 2018 07:03
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISBN:978-1-138-04527-9
OA Status:Green
Related URLs:https://www.routledge.com/Global-Finance-on-Screen-From-Wall-Street-to-Side-Street/Parvulescu/p/book/9781138045286 (Publisher)

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