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Scandalous EconomicsGender and the Politics of Financial Crises$
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Aida A. Hozic and Jacqui True

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190204235

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190204235.001.0001

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“Lehman Brothers and Sisters”

“Lehman Brothers and Sisters”

Revisiting Gender and Myth after the Financial Crisis

(p.21) Chapter 2 “Lehman Brothers and Sisters”
Scandalous Economics

Elisabeth Prügl

Oxford University Press

In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008–2009, there was a remarkable preoccupation in the English-language press with gender relations in finance. Articles adduced masculinity as a variable that may have caused the crisis, speculated about the more prudent investment styles of women, and predicted the fall of “macho” and the end of men. Drawing on the work of Roland Barthes and Simone de Beauvoir, the author argues that this discourse amounted to an exercise in meaning-making through the construction of a myth of woman as financially responsible and man as reckless. The deployment of this myth in the press as a morality play of fall, rise, and redemption provides a narrative that explains the unfamiliar of the crisis, offers a correcting mechanism in the form of prudent woman, and reassembles a bourgeois worldview of social and economic harmony by advocating more gender diversity in finance.

Keywords:   financial crisis, gender, myth, Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir

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