A crucial component of the neoliberal regime is the shift of responsibility for individuals’ financial well-being and security from the state and other public bodies to the individuals themselves, who are required to take responsibility for their own financial decisions and their current and future economic situation. This project of responsibilization presumes a world in which calculative subjects can estimate and manage future risks. Nonetheless, compelled to engage with the financial sphere as a key means of assuring their economic security, individuals are exposed in fact to the fundamental uncertainty of financial markets. In this article, we examine conventions formulated and communicated by financial education programs as cognitive devices geared to prompt individuals to imagine and engage with finance as a site of knowable, calculable and manageable risks, rather than as a site of fundamental uncertainty. Aiming to instill among the general public a particular cognitive frame based on the idea that possible futures are assessable and the risks that they carry can be managed through engagement with financial products and services, these conventions contribute to the normalization of financial logics in everyday life and the incorporation of the general population into the process of financialization.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation under [grant number 597/17]; and by the Research Authority of The Open University of Israel. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers of the Journal of Cultural Economy, to its editor and to the guest editors of this special issue for their helpful comments and suggestions. We also thank Noa Zarka for her research assistance.
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- financial education
- risk management