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Bringing back the Bank: local renewal and agency through community banking.

Cutcher, Leanne


Leanne Cutcher


This paper presents findings from an in-depth case study of a bank that has drawn on an anti-globalization discourse and the idea of the ‘local in opposition to the global’ to create a niche for itself in the highly consolidated Australian retail banking market. The paper explores why, despite the contradiction inherent in its discourse, the bank has been able to garner the funds and volunteer effort of locals to establish and extend its branch network. In exploring what motivated the volunteers involved in the establishment of the local bank the paper shows how seemingly impersonal abstract processes of globalization are embedded in local places and worked out through localised practices of agency. These agentic practices were experienced as being connected, authentic, and in control. Yet as always the paradox of agency came into play and throughout the case study we see how these practices of agency are both enabled and constrained by ‘being local’. By highlighting processes of globalization at the local level these findings move us beyond overarching and overly ‘neat narratives of globalization’ (Maurer, 2003). So that rather than invitations and invocations to ‘act locally’ being seen as ‘anti-globalization’ they should be understood as embedded processes of globalization.


Cutcher, L. (2013). Bringing back the Bank: local renewal and agency through community banking. Organization Studies,

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2013-08
Deposit Date Oct 4, 2013
Print ISSN 0170-8406
Electronic ISSN 1741-3044
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Agency; anti-globalization; community; control; globalization;
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