In what ways might Wall Street’s “culture of smartness,” as Ho discusses it, help to create and sustain the larger culture of “rent seeking”

Topic: Compose an essay that develops and supports an answer to the following question: In what ways might Wall Street’s “culture of smartness,” as Ho discusses it, help to create and sustain the larger culture of “rent seeking” in the <link is hidden>

Readings: Karen Ho, “Biographies of Hegemony”
In “Biographies of Hegemony,” anthropologist Karen Ho examines Wall Street’s recruitment efforts on Ivy League campuses and concludes that “[t]he building blocks of dominant capitalist practices are also personal and cultural; people’s experiences, their university and career tracking, are constitutive of capitalist hegemony; and the financial is cultural through and through” (168). 
In “Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society,” economic analyst Joseph Stiglitz argues that “[o]ur political system has increasingly been working in ways that increase the inequality of outcomes and reduce the equality of opportunity” (396). This system “gives inordinate power to those at the top,” who “have used that power not only to limit the extent of redistribution [of wealth and opportunity] but also to shape the rules of the game in their favor, and to extract from the public what can only be called large ‘gifts’” (396). What Stiglitz offers us, then, is a wider view of the kinds of “dominant capitalist practices” to which Ho refers. Such practices—of which Wall Street’s recruitment efforts could be said to serve as an example—play a role in helping to establish the particular “capitalist hegemony” that we see in the <link is hidden> where “those at the top” enjoy “inordinate power” and, in doing so, as Stiglitz argues, contribute to the ever-widening gap between rich and poor. 

For Paper 2, then, we will be placing Ho’s analysis of Wall Street within the wider context of Stiglitz’s critique of <link is hidden>capitalism, or more specifically, his critique of the government’s failure to reign in this increasingly large gap between rich and poor. In other words, Stiglitz’s critique of rent-seeking practices can help shed light on the role that Wall Street plays in helping to create and sustain the kinds of inequalities we see in the <link is hidden> Building from Ho and Stiglitz, compose an essay that develops and supports an answer to the following question: In what ways might Wall Street’s “culture of smartness,” as Ho discusses it, help to create and sustain the larger culture of “rent seeking” in the <link is hidden>

In “Biographies of Hegemony,” anthropologist Karen Ho examines Wall Street’s recruitment efforts on Ivy League campuses and concludes that “[t]he building blocks of dominant capitalist practices are also personal and cultural; people’s experiences, their university and career tracking, are constitutive of capitalist hegemony; and the financial is cultural through and through” (168). In “Rent Seeking and the Making of an Unequal Society,” economic analyst Joseph Stiglitz argues that “[o]ur political system has increasingly been working in ways that increase the inequality of outcomes and reduce the equality of opportunity” (396). This system “gives inordinate power to those at the top,” who “have used that power not only to limit the extent of redistribution [of wealth and opportunity] but also to shape the rules of the game in their favor, and to extract from the public what can only be called large ‘gifts’” (396). What Stiglitz offers us, then, is a wider view of the kinds of “dominant capitalist practices” to which Ho refers. Such practices—of which Wall Street’s recruitment efforts could be said to serve as an example—play a role in helping to establish the particular “capitalist hegemony” that we see in the <link is hidden> where “those at the top” enjoy “inordinate power” and, in doing so, as Stiglitz argues, contribute to the ever-widening gap between rich and poor. 

For Paper 2, then, we will be placing Ho’s analysis of Wall Street within the wider context of Stiglitz’s critique of <link is hidden>capitalism, or more specifically, his critique of the government’s failure to reign in this increasingly large gap between rich and poor. In other words, Stiglitz’s critique of rent-seeking practices can help shed light on the role that Wall Street plays in helping to create and sustain the kinds of inequalities we see in the <link is hidden> Building from Ho and Stiglitz, compose an essay that develops and supports an answer to the following question: In what ways might Wall Street’s “culture of smartness,” as Ho discusses it, help to create and sustain the larger culture of “rent seeking” in the <link is hidden>

Thinking questions: Use the following questions to help you begin generating ideas and working through the central 
question of the prompt. While these questions are designed to help you start brainstorming and to start engaging the prompt 
in as specific of terms as possible, be sure that you “process” and organize your ideas so that your response remains centered 
on the question in bold above. In other words, be sure that your essay reads as an essay and not like a list of answers to the 
questions below. 
“To be considered ‘smart’ on Wall Street,” Ho writes, “is to be implicated in a web of situated practices and ideologies” (167). If an ideology is a system of ideas, ideals, beliefs, and aims that are “characteristic of an individual, group, or culture,” or of a particular “sociopolitical program” (Merriam-Webster), then what are the ideas, beliefs, and aims, for example, that underlie Wall Street’s definition of “smartness”? In other words, what is it that Wall Street might gain or hope to achieve by defining “smartness” in this particular way? How might this ideology of “smartness” compare to capitalist ideology more broadly, as Stiglitz might define it? 
As Ho puts it, “the financial is cultural through and through” (168). In what ways might “rent seeking” be described as a culture? In other words, what are the “shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices” that Stiglitz associates with rent seeking (Merriam-Webster)? How do these attitudes, values, goals, and practices compare to those that Ho associates with Wall Street’s “culture of smartness” (167)? 
In what ways might Wall Street’s recruitment practices be understood as rent seeking? Which of the key terms that Stiglitz associates with rent seeking could we apply to Wall Street’s recruitment practices? 
How might Wall Street’s “culture of smartness” affect access to “opportunity,” in Stiglitz’s sense of the term (396)? How is access to opportunity related to rent seeking? 
If rent seekers “shape the rules of the game in their favor,” what is the game that they are playing (Stiglitz 396)? How do rent seekers shape its rules, according to Stiglitz? How does this game (and its rules) compare to the “game” that Wall Street recruiters play, so to speak, on Ivy League campuses, particularly at Harvard and Princeton? How do recruiters shape the rules of this game in their favor? 

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