Where the Action is: Internet Stock Trading as Edgework

21 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2006

See all articles by Detlev Zwick

Detlev Zwick

York University - Schulich School of Business


This article puts forth the argument that with the transfer of stock trading from what could be called an analog world of phone calls, faxes, and trips to the local bank, to the computer-mediated environment of the computer screen, the market becomes the site for new types of individual experiences and practices that cannot be predicted, captured, or understood with existing economic and finance theories. Specifically, by giving the stock market an interactionally- or response-present face-in-action (Knorr Cetina & Bruegger, 2002b), the computer screen alters investors' conventional relationship with, and perception of, the market. It is suggested that the market-on-the-screen gives birth to the market as a place for edgeworking (Lyng, 1990), or experiencing risk as an end in itself. A prerequisite for edgework is a real sense of agency, afforded to the individual investor, for the first time in history, by the computer.

Keywords: edgework, internet, online, investing, stock market, risk, thrill, market on screen, qualitative method

JEL Classification: A14

Suggested Citation

Zwick, Detlev, Where the Action is: Internet Stock Trading as Edgework. Journal of Investment Technology, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=880414

Detlev Zwick (Contact Author)

York University - Schulich School of Business ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
416-736-2100 ext. 77199 (Phone)
416-736-5687 (Fax)

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