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    Gender, risk and the Wall Street alpha male

    Maclean, Kate (2015) Gender, risk and the Wall Street alpha male. Journal of Gender Studies 25 (4), pp. 427-444. ISSN 0958-9236.

    MACLEAN_Byron.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

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    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.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Gender Studies on Jan 14th 2015, available online:
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): gender, risk, finance, film, feminist economics, popular culture
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck (BiGS), Social Research, Birkbeck Institute for (BISR)
    Depositing User: Kate Maclean
    Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2015 07:54
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:17


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