Culture and Financialization

Four Approaches

Authored by: Max Haiven

The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138308213
eBook ISBN: 9781315142876
Adobe ISBN:


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The difficulty of the task of providing an overview of the relationship between culture and financialization stems not only from the fact that both terms are hotly debated and seek to identify complex phenomena. It also stems from the fact that the spheres one is seeking to describe (culture and finance) are, today, substantially transforming one another. For noted cultural theorist Frederic Jameson (1998a: 60), what we typically identify as post-Bretton Woods financialization coincides with and, indeed, is part and parcel of “the becoming economic of the cultural and the becoming cultural of the economic.” What are we, for instance, to make of a moment when central bank governors, investment bank CEOs and other major financial luminaries must carefully script and stage their public announcements to forestall (or, occasionally, foment) seismic market movements? Or what of the way institutions and practitioners of the arts, now recast as spheres of “cultural production” or the “creative economy,” seem to have embraced many of the logics, priorities, dispositions and practices from the financial world (Haiven 2014b; Vishmidt 2015)? It is not only that culture, today, is big business, hence of interest to financial speculators. Nor is it simply that activities in the financial sector are deeply shaped by “cultural” factors like aesthetics, belief, language games, representation, spectacle and performance (MacKenzie 2006; Marazzi 2008; Knorr-Cetina 2011; Davis 2018). It is, more broadly, that in some ways culture and finance name one another’s horizon of disappearance in a neoliberal, globalized world (Jameson 1998b; Martin 2015).

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