Domesticizing Financial Economies: Studying Finance In-between Market Devices, Everyday Calculation and Government

Joe Deville, Jeanne Lazarus, Mariana Luzzi, José Ossandón

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Millions of lives in almost every corner of the world are increasingly being shaped by consumer-oriented financial services and products. Whether it is the middle classes or those at the bottom of the social and economic pyramid, both their social opportunities and sources of social exclusion are affected by their everyday participation in finance. From geographers describing the intimacies of contemporary financial ecologies, to sociological studies comparing personalized and quantified credit assessments, to detailed work within science and technology studies on how monetary devices shape conditions of calculative possibility, to the ethnographic assessments of domestic financial and budgetary practices carried out by cultural anthropologists: there is no doubt that recent years have witnessed a proliferation of research that documents the significance of domestic money and debt management practices as well as the precise way financial providers are evaluating, sorting and targeting their consumers.
We believe these diverse trends are starting to converge, and the ambitions of this paper are both to organize scattered literature and to reflect upon the consequences of the new field of research. We use the term “domesticizing financial economies” to collect what we think are four key trajectories. First: “the financialization of the domestic”: certainly debt and finance are more than 5000 years old, but new type of agents and technologies – such as online payday lending, mobile money, payment cards – characterize the financial ecologies people around the world face. Second; “the domestizisation of finance”: financial technologies do not only financialize the domestic, they are continuously domesticized as many recent studies on ordinary accounting, earmarking, informal circuits of debt show. Third, the “domestication of financial economies”: financial literacy programs developed by governmental bodies, international organizations, and banks have become a ubiquitous layer attached to the assemblage of financial economies in many countries. And last but not least, “domesticizing social studies of finance”: studying domesticizing financial economies does not only extend the reach of increasingly relevant social studies of finance, but it requires new methods, a new type of research persona.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSASE 28th Annual Conference 2016: Moral Economies, Economic Moralities - University of California - Berkeley, Berkeley, United States
Duration: 24 Jun 201626 Jun 2016
Conference number: 28


ConferenceSASE 28th Annual Conference 2016
LocationUniversity of California - Berkeley
Country/TerritoryUnited States

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