Daniel Maman (Ben Gurion University)
ANSO 2107 | Feb 27 11:00am-12:30pm
The Making of Homo Financius: Conventions, Emotions and Morality in Financial Education
The individualization, privatization and marketization of risk management are defining features of current financialized capitalism. Under these conditions, individuals are required to manage economic and social risks of various types through their participation in the financial arena. This neoliberal project of responsibilization implies the constitution of subjects exhibiting the competencies considered as necessary to engage with financial products and services in what is defined as the proper and efficient manner to assure their present and future welfare. Practices of financial education serve as an important instrument for delineating and promoting the constitutive cognitive, emotional and moral dispositions of the desired homo financius. This paper examines the ways in which financial education currently conducted by state and non-state agencies in Israel define, explain and justify proper financial conduct and the individuals’ characteristics underpinning them. I show that these programs mobilize three basic discursive devices: conventions, emotions and moral imperatives. Through these discursive devices, which connect individuals’ desired subjectivities to the individualization, privatization and marketization of risk management, financial education contributes to the normalization of the ideational and institutional logics of the financialization of everyday life.