Flying High, Laying Low: Talking Methods for Financial Economies

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Economic Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Bacchus, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Organizers: Sophie Webber, Heather Whiteside, Patrick Bigger
Chairs: Sophie Webber


There is broad consensus that economic geographers ought to devote more attention to public and private finance and its practice, as the growth of research and writing on financial geography can attest. However, there is relatively little formal training or guidance on best practices for speaking to/with experts and practitioners steeped in the everyday of arcane economics. This interactive panel aims to engage junior and senior researchers in a discussion of their related fieldwork experiences by examining the possibilities and pitfalls of flying high and laying low in the world of financial actors, practitioners, and state institutions that shape the financial economy. Included here are lessons offered by other subdisciplines that ‘study up’ with experts and people in positions of institutional power. Along the way, we explore ethical considerations, practicalities, gendered and racialized concerns, and offer other tips and tricks for financial geographers based on the varied expertise of our panel members and input from those in attendance.
Questions -
Getting in: what are the best/worse techniques for recruitment both before and during fieldwork, and additional desk-based follow up? Highlighting here the challenges of finding the right specialists with the info you need, in the right spot, and with the time needed to speak to you. What asset classes are relatively easier or more difficult to access?
Getting what you want: what are the best comportment practices? How to best ‘speak’ to/with economic practitioners or related specialists? (Sleuthing techniques? Secrecy? Honesty? Assertiveness?) Attire? Gendered/racialized experiences and/or strategies?
Getting it out: benign people, malign places/practices/outcomes - with critical analyses, how do you write up interviewee findings with respect and care?
Getting back to them: what forms of interaction are common after the field interview process is complete - follow up clarification and questions, sending drafts pre-publication vs. final versions post-publication, ensuring anonymity and receiving feedback, keeping up with interviewees for future research?


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Emily Rosenman University of Toronto 16
Panelist Patrick Bigger Lancaster University 16
Panelist Heather Whiteside University of Waterloo 17
Panelist Stefan Ouma Goethe University Frankfurt 17
Panelist Luis Alvarez Leon UCLA 17
Discussant Shaina Potts UC Los Angeles 17

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