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Title: A study of identity formation in the London investment banking sector
Author: Cook, Audrey Ciceley Heloise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 335X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis seeks to investigate identity formation within the London investment banking sector in the context of career development. The sector has undergone a host of changes in the past two decades. The ‘Old City’ was distinguished by trust, reputation and stability which was informally regulated through a kinship network comprised of a social elite. De-regulation in 1986 ushered in the ‘New City’ characterised by individualistic competition, inflated capital sums, truncated careers, volatility and diversification. Existing research concerning identity has largely focussed on how ‘Old City’ class and gender relations continue to predominate and shape career opportunities. Scholars have highlighted how patterns of privilege and exclusion are reproduced through a variety of ‘performances,’ disadvantaging those who are unable to access a limited range of acceptable class and gender positions. This study takes a different starting point to explore how ‘performance’ may play a role in identity work to further careers but in a way which is attentive to the distinctive conditions of the New City. Specifically, this research explores how identity may be constructed and constantly re-worked and revised, drawing upon a range of different resources within a highly diverse setting. The thesis seeks to engage with this research agenda by applying Giddens (1984; 1991) theoretical framework on self-identity, reflexivity and performance. A longitudinal research design was used to elicit qualitative data from six senior investment bank employees, gathering accounts on changes experienced over the period of a year as well as past events. The thesis investigates how a biographical narrative was reflexively maintained via the accommodation and perpetuation of a variety of different performances within a series of social terrains. These in turn served to reproduce the broader financial institutional context. A further contribution is developed which focuses on the theoretical interplays between selfidentity, reflexivity and performance through a detailed analysis of the empirical materials.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HG Finance