Ethnography is a matter of substance and style. The book under review here has both. Drawing on twenty years of all-access fieldwork at the Bank of Canada, Graham Smart’s Writing the Economy: Activity, Genre and Technology in the World of Banking is a carefully crafted ethnography of central bankers’ intellectual work. It is a compelling, smooth and topical read about the discursive means with which economists at a financial institution negotiate, inscribe and disseminate knowledge about Canada’s monetary policy.
Read the rest of my review here (.doc).
Should you be interested in ethnography, discourse analysis, organizational discourse, or if you would like to know how Canada’s central bank tries to keep their economy afloat by building and communicating knowledge about monetary policy, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It’s a pageturner. Rave reviews are the exception in academia, but this book deserves one.