This chapter situates the study within the original sociology of finance. It introduces the core ethnographic breakdown that motivated this project. While existing studies described trading floors as loud, stressful, and chaotic, the chapter describes one trading room at International Securities in 1999 as quiet and orderly. The reason for such disparity was the introduction of information technology during the 1990s, which had replaced loud oral communication as the key information exchange mechanism. This change in turn led Bob, the manager of the floor, to rethink the trading room as a space for interpreting and debating economic news and events.
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