We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details

Lai, Karen P.Y. (2018). Financialisation of everyday life. In The New Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography. Clark, Gordon L., Feldmann, Maryann P. Gertler, Meric & Wojcik, Dariusz Oxford University Press. 611-627.

Author(s) from Durham


Over the past few decades, there has been a broad expansion of financial power in which the
biopolitical terrain of individual subjectivity, aspiration and forms of conduct at an individual
level is increasingly tied to global financial structures. This calls for more systematic and
incisive analyses into the household and its constituent elements in understanding the
construction and mobilisation of financialised behaviour and outcomes. This chapter identifies
three key research themes and highlights some future directions for investigating the
financialisation of everyday life. The first theme analyses how new intermediaries of finance
have increased the influence and pervasiveness of financial instruments and solutions in
everyday life. The second theme examines the discourse of risk-taking and self-management
that has shaped the formation of financial subjects. The third theme concerns the role of the
state in financialisation and considers whether it is a distant or reactionary agent in ‘context’ or
a strategic actor who mobilises financialisation scripts for political-economic purposes. The
conclusion puts forward a research agenda that highlights the household as a key site from
which to explore the constructions and practices of financialisation and how culture, sentiments,
emotions and care matter in economic lives.