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Alice Pearson

Alice  Pearson

Research Title: The Discipline of Economics

Supervisor: Dr Andrew Sanchez


My doctoral thesis is funded by an ESRC studentship and based on 15 months ethnographic fieldwork of undergraduate economics education in Northern Europe. In it I focus on the relationship between content and form in economics education, including: the aesthetics of economic modelling; relationships between ‘rationality’ and ‘reflexivity’; and some of the paradoxical endeavours of such genres of education. I then go on to explore the conceptions of personhood, space and time that are entailed in transitions to future careers, particularly in finance. Throughout the thesis I consider dynamics in the discipline of economics itself, particularly shifts in notions of information and rationality and the ambiguities these generate, with a focus on various fields of asymmetric information economics.

Previously I have completed an MPhil in Social Anthropology (University of Cambridge) and a BSc in Government and Economics (LSE).

In addition to my doctoral research, I am also involved in two other research initiatives:

I am the Research Associate on an ESRC-funded project with Prof. David Tuckett, Prof. Laura Bear and Prof. Douglas Holmes. Within this I examine how Bank of England Agents assemble understandings of the economy during Brexit uncertainty. For this I am conducting fieldwork across the UK during 2019.

I am also a co-founder and convener of The Politics of Economics network, funded by CRASSH, INET YSI and the Bennett Institute. This considers how economic advice can and ought to be structured, given the various forms of judgement it necessarily entails.

Research Interests

Economic anthropology; history and philosophy of economics; anthropology of science, medicine and psy- disciplines; gender; personhood, liberalism and late liberalism; performativity, ethics and aesthetics; higher education; expertise and policy; finance; labour and time.