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Scenes from a Power Struggle: The Rise of Retail Investors in the US Stock Market
Research in the Sociology of Organizations (2012)
  • Elisabeth Brooke Harrington, Copenhagen Business School

This chapter examines the mass movement of Americans into investing during the 1990s as both a consequence and a cause of contested power between corporations and individuals. This movement was part of a larger historical pattern of economically marginalized people consolidating their power through associational strategies in the realm of finance. Using US investment clubs as a case study, the chapter draws on Foucault’s theories to illuminate the bilateral power structure of modern capitalism, in which market institutions and small groups at the grassroots level mutually influence one another. While the investment club movement was in part a response to economic domination by corporate and political elites, it also catalyzed genuine shifts in the power dynamics between individuals and corporations.

  • Power; investment clubs; stock market; groups
Publication Date
Citation Information
Harrington, Brooke. 2012. "Scenes from a Power Struggle: The Rise of Retail Investors in the US Stock Market." Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 34: 231-258. Available at: