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The Rise and Impact of Financial Capitalism: A Sociological Analysis of New Forms of Capitalism

Social Sciences in China, 2020

Vol. 41, No. 4, 2020

 

The Rise and Impact of Financial Capitalism: A Sociological Analysis of New Forms of Capitalism

(Abstract)

 

Yang Dian and Ouyang Xuanyu

  

Compared with Karl Polanyi’s first Great Transformation, the emergence of the even more influential financial capitalism can be called the second Great Transformation. The global expansion of financial capitalism has extended its power beyond the remit of nation-states as governments, firms, families and individuals are increasingly guided and reshaped by financial markets, producing a trend toward the financialization of social life. An important social consequence is the ever more marked separation of financial markets from society, a separation that has gradually eroded the power of the state, trade unions and civil society and aggravated the employment crises, the polarization of rich and poor and the structural inequality of developed capitalist countries. In the face of society’s erosion by financial capital, the West has taken measures of social self-protection, but these have so far had little effect. To establish a new financial and market governance structure at the global level that will effectively cope with the negative impact of financial capitalism is a long and arduous task.

 

Keywords: financial capitalism, maximizing shareholder value, the Great Transformation, social self-protection movement