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Restoring social creativity to immoderate publics: the case of the financially incontinent citizen

Restoring social creativity to immoderate publics: the case of the financially incontinent citizen
Restoring social creativity to immoderate publics: the case of the financially incontinent citizen
The ‘financially incontinent citizen’ is a recent phenomenon and is increasingly the focus of policy-makers: international, national and local as well as the financial services industry. The social construction of the financially profligate consumer-citizen was produced in the merger of social democratic and neoliberal discourses in political economy as well as the success of neoliberalism in aligning itself with media and public consensus. This paper (1) provides an examination of the production of the profligate citizen in neoliberal policy-making and reveals the more recent roles behavioural economics and psychology have had in developing the means to define behavioural standards and guidelines to remedy the ‘defective autonomy’ of consumer-citizens; and (2) argues a sociological counter-position drawing on the recent turn to pragmatist theories of social action, and empirical studies, that emphasize the forms of social creativity and innovation that actors in rapidly changing lifecourse scenarios develop. The complexity of the lifecourse can also be too challenging, but the remedy is not the remediation of a ‘defective’ actor.
financial behaviour, indebtedness, behavioural economics, pragmatism, social theory, neoliberalism, consumer citizen
0038-0261
79-99
Vass, Jeff
dc15b906-c479-4738-a58d-d163a892c0aa
Vass, Jeff
dc15b906-c479-4738-a58d-d163a892c0aa

Vass, Jeff (2013) Restoring social creativity to immoderate publics: the case of the financially incontinent citizen. [in special issue: Sociological Review Monograph Series: Sociologies of Moderation: Problems of Democracy, Expertise and the Media by Alexander Thomas T. Smith and John Holmwood] The Sociological Review, 61, supplement S2, 79-99. (doi:10.1111/1467-954X.12101).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The ‘financially incontinent citizen’ is a recent phenomenon and is increasingly the focus of policy-makers: international, national and local as well as the financial services industry. The social construction of the financially profligate consumer-citizen was produced in the merger of social democratic and neoliberal discourses in political economy as well as the success of neoliberalism in aligning itself with media and public consensus. This paper (1) provides an examination of the production of the profligate citizen in neoliberal policy-making and reveals the more recent roles behavioural economics and psychology have had in developing the means to define behavioural standards and guidelines to remedy the ‘defective autonomy’ of consumer-citizens; and (2) argues a sociological counter-position drawing on the recent turn to pragmatist theories of social action, and empirical studies, that emphasize the forms of social creativity and innovation that actors in rapidly changing lifecourse scenarios develop. The complexity of the lifecourse can also be too challenging, but the remedy is not the remediation of a ‘defective’ actor.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 3 December 2013
Published date: December 2013
Keywords: financial behaviour, indebtedness, behavioural economics, pragmatism, social theory, neoliberalism, consumer citizen
Organisations: Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 368026
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/368026
ISSN: 0038-0261
PURE UUID: ef933ca8-3bbd-49bf-b9e1-c037bbfeeea6

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Date deposited: 13 Aug 2014 14:42
Last modified: 20 Nov 2021 18:14

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Author: Jeff Vass

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