“A Machine for Living”

The Cultural Economy of Financial Subjectivity

Authored by: Rob Aitken

The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization

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

Print ISBN: 9781138308213
eBook ISBN: 9781315142876
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Financialization occupies a space at the very heart of how we understand our globalized present and its relation to a range of possible futures. As this volume indicates, this concept refers to the diverse ways in which finance is now at the center of our social and economic lives: “The machinery for measuring, modelling, managing, predicting, commoditizing, and exploiting risk,” argues Arjun Appadurai (2016: 44), “has become the central diacritic of modern capitalism.” As the late Randy Martin (2016) has implored, however, financialization is not merely an economic form, but a cultural practice, a set of scripts about how we are supposed to live our everyday lives (see Hiss 2013). Broadly, the wide extension of finance as a powerful force has resulted in a culture criss-crossed by the language and practice of calculation as a dominant vector of social life, what Max Haiven (2014: 4) refers to as the “financialized imagination”: “the rhizomatic and diffuse appearance of financial metaphors, practices, narratives, ideals, measurements, ideologies and identities throughout the social fabric” (see also Davis and Walsh 2016).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.