President of the International Sociological Association's Economy and Society Research Committee (RC02), 2018-2022.
My current research can be divided into three themes, all involving finance & society.
First, 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.
Second, drawing on ethnographic interviews in Islamic investment banks, I am currently conducting research into the social consequences of Islamic finance, particularly Islamic bonds (sukuk).
Third, I research professional investors’ behavior in global financial markets. For example, I have investigated how illiquidity influences investors’ behavior in emerging markets, and why foreigners herd and locals act as their counterparties.
Click Research to see select publications in these areas.
Pitluck, Aaron Z. and Shikshya Adhikari. 2018. "Islamic Finance in the Global North: Secular Incubators, Elementary Accommodation and Strategic Negligence." Pp. 28 in Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives, edited by M. Woodward and R. Lukens-Bull: Springer Reference.
Pitluck, Aaron Z. 2013. “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.
Pitluck, Aaron Z. 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.
Pitluck, Aaron Z. 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. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1156346.
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.
Pitluck, Aaron Z., Fabio Mattioli and Daniel Souleles. 2018. "Finance Beyond Function: Three Causal Explanations for Financialization." Economic Anthropology 5(2):157-71.
Pitluck, Aaron Z. 2014. “Watching Foreigners: How counterparties enable herds, crowds, and generate liquidity,” Socio-economic Review 12(1):5-31.
Pitluck, Aaron Z. 2014. “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. www.unrisd.org/thinkpiece-pitluck
Pitluck, Aaron Z. 2009. “Ethnography Meets Econometrics: Exploring Daily Work Practices that Lead to Financial Crises,” Anthropology News, October 2009, pp.7-8.
7th Annual Sociology of Development Conference, “Contesting finance: Meaning-making and control in Malaysian Islamic investment banks,” University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, October 20, 2018.
Financialization beyond Crisis Conference, “Contesting financialization: Meaning-making and control in Malaysian Islamic investment banks,” Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany, September 12, 2018.
International Sociological Association World Congress, “How Financialization is Raced, Gendered and Classed,” International Sociological Association World Congress, Toronto, Canada, July 20, 2018.
Society for Business Ethics Annual Conference, “Theorizing the control of financial expertise: A normative argument in the US based on Islamic finance in Malaysia,” Chicago, IL, August 10, 2018
American Sociological Association’s Annual Meeting, Discussant, “Markets, Finance, Credit, and Money,” Montreal, Canada, August 14, 2017.
2016 Harvard University Muslim Alumni Islamic Finance Conference, “Inequality, Risk Sharing and Islamic Finance, Boylston Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass, October 15, 2016.
28th Annual Meeting of SASE, “Can We Tether Finance to the Productive Economy? Financialization and Experimental Financial Practices in Islamic Finance,” University of California, Berkeley, June 25, 2016.
3rd Forum of the International Sociological Association, “What Does It Mean to Tether Finance to the Productive Economy? Financialization and the Case Study of Islamic Finance,” University of Vienna, Austria, July 11, 2016.
American Sociological Association’s Economic Sociology Section Conference, “Is it Economically Consequential to Tether Finance to the Productive Economy? Financialization and the Case Study of Islamic Finance,” University of Washington, Seattle, August 19, 2016.
Culture Workshop, “How to Control an Investment Banker: Theorizing Counter-Financialization from the Case of Islamic Finance in Malaysia,” University of Notre Dame, April 15, 2016.