Dr. Aaron Z. Pitluck

Associate Professor

Office Address: SCH 352
Office Phone: (309) 438-8667
Office Hours: In the Normal Theater, Tues/Thurs 10:15-10:45
In SCH 352, Thurs 12:30-2. And by appointment.

Email: Contact Dr. Aaron Pitluck (apitluc)
Website: Visit Dr. Aaron Pitluck’s Website
Teaching Schedule:
Course NumberSectionCourse NameTimeRoom NumberCourse Links
SOA108.02Contemporary Social Problems in Global Perspective T R 11:00 - 12:15NTH 0101 View Grades
SOA291.01Undergraduate Teaching Experience in Sociology-Antropology    View Grades
SOA320.01Global Development & Economic Change T R 15:35 - 16:50SCH 0114
SOA400.010Independent Study   
Teaching Interests:
Economic Sociology, Sociology of Complex Organizations, Global Development & Economic Change, Contemporary Social Problems in Global Perspective, Introduction to Sociology, Contemporary Social Theory, Cultural Sociology, Senior Experience (capstone thesis course)
Research Interests:
Economic Sociology. Global Development & Economic Change. Social Studies of Finance.
Capitalism and Ethics, particularly Islamic Finance. Global & transnational social processes. Asia-Pacific Studies.

I have been away for the past two years to take up a two year research fellowship at Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) to conduct my projects at their Political Economy Research Group.

My current research can be divided into four themes, all involving finance & society.  First, I investigate professional investors’ behavior in global financial markets.  For example, I have researched how illiquidity influences investors’ behavior in emerging markets, and why foreigners herd and locals act as their counterparties.  Second, I am interested in how moral and ethical norms, beliefs, and values influence financial markets.  For example, I’ve conducted research on Islamic Finance in Malaysia and Socially Responsible Investing in the United States.  Third, I am fascinated by conflicts of interest in economic life, and how people negotiate these conflicts to get their work done.  Fourth, I am currently conducting research into the social consequences of Islamic finance, particularly Islamic bonds (sukuk).

I am always interested in working with undergraduate and graduate students, either as a collaborator, or to provide research assistant experience.  Interested students should make an appointment.
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Sociology)
  • M.Phil., University of Cambridge (Development Studies)
  • Dip., London School of Economics (Economics)
  • B.A., New School for Social Research, Eugene Lang College (Liberal Arts)
Selected Publications:

2014 "Watching foreigners: How counterparties enable herds, crowds, and generate liquidity in financial markets," Socio-Economic Review 12 (1): 5-31, doi:10.1093/ser/mwt013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2282579

2013     “Islamic Banking and Finance: Alternative or Façade?” in Karin Knorr Cetina and Alex Preda, Handbook of the Sociology of Finance, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2012     “The Silence of Finance and Its Critics: Portfolio Investors in the World-System.” Pp. 206-214 in Routledge International Handbook of World-Systems Analysis, edited by S. Babones and C. Chase-Dunn. London and New York: Routledge.

2012     Book review of Frederick F. Wherry, The Culture of Markets in Work, Employment and Society, 26(6):1042-3.

2011     Joint book review of Matthew Gill, Accountants’ Truth and Karen Ho, Liquidated in Work, Employment and Society 25(1):170-3.

2011     “Distributed Execution in Illiquid Times: An Alternative Explanation of Trading in Stock Markets,” Economy and Society 40(1), 26-55.

2009     “Ethnography Meets Econometrics: Exploring Daily Work Practices that Lead to Financial Crises,” Anthropology News, October 2009, pp.7-8.

2008     “Moral Behavior in Stock Markets: Islamic Finance and Socially Responsible Investment.” Pp. 233‑55 in Economics and Morality: Anthropological Approaches, Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA) Monographs, edited by K. E. Browne and B. L. Milgram. Lanham: AltaMira Press, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

2009      Reprint in: Gopalan, Swapna (Ed.), Islamic Capital Markets: Opportunities and Challenges, Hyderabad, India: Icfai Books / Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (Icfai) University Press.

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