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Communicating the market: Understanding finance through robo-advisory

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This thesis explores the principles and understandings about personal investing that robo-advisors promote and how these are taken up by users. Scholars have previously theorized an ongoing financialization of everyday life, and in recent years this phenomenon has been accompanied by the increasing ubiquity of financial technologies. In this context, the thesis seeks to understand how robo-advisors—cheap and intuitive investment platforms for nonexperts—integrate individuals into financial markets. Using the walkthrough method to study two robo-advisors' online materials and interfaces as well as critical discourse analysis to examine online user discussions, the thesis outlines how robo-advisors support mainstream principles of personal finance and how users mostly, but not always, buy into these conventions. The thesis contributes to the existing literature by complicating concepts of passivity, financial literacy, and subjectivity, and argues for a politicization of stock markets where indices are made responsive to their social and ethical stakes.
132 pages.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Brophy, Enda
Member of collection
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etd22031.pdf 3.87 MB

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