Dr. Aaron Z. Pitluck

Associate Professor

Office Address: SCH 352
Office Phone: (309) 438-8667
Office Hours: Thursdays 12:30-2, or by appointment
Email: Contact Dr. Aaron Pitluck (apitluc)
Website: Visit Dr. Aaron Pitluck’s Website
Teaching Schedule:
Course NumberSectionCourse NameTimeRoom NumberCourse Links
SOA108.01Contemporary Social Problems in Global Perspective T R 11:00 - 12:15SCH 0130 Soc 108 Syllabus Fall 2014.pdf View Grades
SOA291.04Undergraduate Teaching Experience in Sociology-Antropology   
SOA495.11Special Topics in Sociology T R 15:35 - 16:50SCH 0208
Teaching Interests:
Economic Sociology, Political Economy, 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.

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 and anonymity 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     Pitluck, Aaron Z. “Watching Foreigners: How counterparties enable herds, crowds, and generate liquidity,” Socio-economic Review 12(1):5-31.

2014     Pitluck, Aaron Z. “How to upscale your social economy into a trillion dollar global market: The convergence paradox of Islamic finance,” United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD Think Piece).  Available at: www.unrisd.org/thinkpiece-pitluck

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

2012     Pitluck, Aaron Z. “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.

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

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

2008     Pitluck, Aaron Z. “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.  Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1156346.

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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