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Gender, risk and the Wall Street Alpha Male

Gender, risk and the Wall Street Alpha Male From the outset, analyses of the 2008 financial crisis, in mainstream as well as feminist discussions, have been gendered. In particular, rampant risk taking in an unregulated environment, widely deemed to be a principle cause of the crash, has been associated with masculine characteristics. In this article, I explore how the concepts of gender and risk entwine in two films on the financial crisis – The Other Guys and Margin Call. By looking at how gender is used to dramatise financial risk, I explore how understandings of high-risk behaviour are gendered, and the implications this has in the context of finance. Fictional representations mediate public understanding of this notoriously complex field as the number of films and documentaries on the crisis demonstrates. Exploring how gender is used to communicate risk reminds us that risk taking is part of a performance of masculinity that needs to be established by constructing a feminine, risk-averse other. The contention of this paper is that, to address gender bias in finance and the economy, gendered meanings of risk need to be openly challenged, and cultural and material analyses of gendered inequality brought into dialogue. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Gender Studies Taylor & Francis

Gender, risk and the Wall Street Alpha Male

Journal of Gender Studies , Volume 25 (4): 18 – Jul 3, 2016
18 pages

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References (69)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2015 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
1465-3869
eISSN
0958-9236
DOI
10.1080/09589236.2014.990425
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

From the outset, analyses of the 2008 financial crisis, in mainstream as well as feminist discussions, have been gendered. In particular, rampant risk taking in an unregulated environment, widely deemed to be a principle cause of the crash, has been associated with masculine characteristics. In this article, I explore how the concepts of gender and risk entwine in two films on the financial crisis – The Other Guys and Margin Call. By looking at how gender is used to dramatise financial risk, I explore how understandings of high-risk behaviour are gendered, and the implications this has in the context of finance. Fictional representations mediate public understanding of this notoriously complex field as the number of films and documentaries on the crisis demonstrates. Exploring how gender is used to communicate risk reminds us that risk taking is part of a performance of masculinity that needs to be established by constructing a feminine, risk-averse other. The contention of this paper is that, to address gender bias in finance and the economy, gendered meanings of risk need to be openly challenged, and cultural and material analyses of gendered inequality brought into dialogue.

Journal

Journal of Gender StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 3, 2016

Keywords: gender; risk; finance; film; feminist economics; popular culture

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