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The third ‘financialisation of everyday life’ approach

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The third ‘financialisation of everyday life’ approach

citizens being transformed from ‘welfare subjects’ to ‘personal investors’ and ‘personal borrowers’ with a related internalisation of new norms of individual risk-taking (Langley, 2008). Most accounts of the ‘everyday life’ of financialisation focus particularly on issues of culture, identities and subjectivities (Langley, 2008; Coppock, 2013; Deville, 2015; Horsley, 2015). This focus has provided a rich stream of thought about the nature of contemporary society but, we argue, fails to fully engage with the ‘lived experience’ or ‘lived reality’ of financialisation. Payday lending is not just important in terms of what it tells us about people’s subjectivities and identities but also in terms of their more objective experiences of managing on low and precarious incomes. Van der Zwan (2014: 113–14) has also criticised the neo-Foucauldian emphasis on identities and subjectivities but from a different perspective, arguing that ‘the role of the state remains underdeveloped in this body of scholarly work. . . and yet. . . the expansion of financial markets has coincided with the retreat of the welfare state in many of the advanced political economies’. We also engage with, and contribute to, debates about the role of the state in this paper.

In bringing together the ‘regime of accumulation’ and ‘financialisation of everyday life’ approaches to our analysis of payday lending we also draw on discussion of the emergence of a ‘shadow’ welfare state (Fairbanks, 2009; Gottschalk, 2000). This relates to the varied sources of support people rely on from the mixed economy of credit (credit from different sources including the private sector, the state, family and friends and non-government microfinance schemes) alongside the mixed economy of welfare (Karger, 2005; Marston and Shevellar, 2014). Read More