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Ethopolitics and the financial citizen

Ethopolitics and the financial citizen
Ethopolitics and the financial citizen
While personal debt has been the subject of intense research activity over the past decade, in particular from think tanks and government bodies, it remains relatively undertheorized and neglected in general by the social sciences. This article offers a novel theoretical frame for the analysis of personal debt – and personal overindebtedness in particular – by highlighting the construction of deviance from financial behavioural normativities. Using Nikolas Rose's concept of ‘ethopolitics’ to describe the relocation of government from questions of rational administration to those of everyday morality and ethics, this article presents two characterizations of deviance from an ethopolitical imaginary of financial citizenship: irresponsibility and incapability. From this framework, the article explores the nature of the state sponsored normalization of indebtedness and the stigmatization of overindebtedness as a corollary of ‘delinquent’ dispositions and dependencies. This article suggests that UK government policy concerning financial responsibility has been shaped by an ethopolitical imaginary of financial citizenship which is based upon a skewed understanding of structure and agency which has its parallel in the attribution of unemployment to ‘worklessness’.
financialization, ethopolitics, responsibilization, worklessness, citizenship, debt, overindebtedness
0038-0261
1-27
Pathak, Pathik
29d3480f-191e-4caf-8cf6-3d3836ec39c5
Pathak, Pathik
29d3480f-191e-4caf-8cf6-3d3836ec39c5

Pathak, Pathik (2013) Ethopolitics and the financial citizen. The Sociological Review, n/a, 1-27. (doi:10.1111/1467-954X.12119).

Record type: Article

Abstract

While personal debt has been the subject of intense research activity over the past decade, in particular from think tanks and government bodies, it remains relatively undertheorized and neglected in general by the social sciences. This article offers a novel theoretical frame for the analysis of personal debt – and personal overindebtedness in particular – by highlighting the construction of deviance from financial behavioural normativities. Using Nikolas Rose's concept of ‘ethopolitics’ to describe the relocation of government from questions of rational administration to those of everyday morality and ethics, this article presents two characterizations of deviance from an ethopolitical imaginary of financial citizenship: irresponsibility and incapability. From this framework, the article explores the nature of the state sponsored normalization of indebtedness and the stigmatization of overindebtedness as a corollary of ‘delinquent’ dispositions and dependencies. This article suggests that UK government policy concerning financial responsibility has been shaped by an ethopolitical imaginary of financial citizenship which is based upon a skewed understanding of structure and agency which has its parallel in the attribution of unemployment to ‘worklessness’.

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More information

Published date: 2013
Keywords: financialization, ethopolitics, responsibilization, worklessness, citizenship, debt, overindebtedness
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 359584
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/359584
ISSN: 0038-0261
PURE UUID: 64f5a5bf-3031-485c-a395-7422f33d26f3

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Nov 2013 11:05
Last modified: 02 Dec 2019 20:47

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