CfP: Households and Peripheral Financialisation in Europe

Call for papers, deadline 31 October 2017


Workshop: Households and Peripheral Financialisation in Europe
22-23 February 2018
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany
Convenors: Marek Mikuš, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (“Financialisation” Group); Petra Rodik, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb

The burgeoning work on “everyday finance” or “popular finance” attends to the increasing involvement of ever-wider, non-elite sections of society with financial devices, markets and narratives. This literature tends to evoke “the household” as a prominent but under-theorised category of analysis. This is particularly problematic since mainstream economics and financial expert knowledge treat households as self-evident and bounded units of economic statistics and modelling, risk assessment and management, further aggregated as the “household sector”. Economic anthropology and economic sociology, on the other hand, see the household as the unit of social reproduction in which individuals pool resources and adopt common strategies that are informed by socially constructed dispositions. Building on these traditions, this workshop aims to unpack the mutually and dynamically constitutive relationships between socially, historically and geographically situated households and financial markets, including the shifting articulation of increasingly financialisedreal-estate assets with social relations of interdependence in the household.

Taking stock of the variegated nature of financialisation, we propose acknowledging multiple patterns of peripheral financialisation − such as those in Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, and super-financialised small economies like Ireland or Iceland − and exploring both their similarities and divergences. While under-represented in the everyday finance literature and shaped by diverse historical trajectories, these societies exhibit patterns of financialisation different from those of Anglo-Saxon and European core countries, such as extraversion, dependence on capital inflows, high rate of foreign ownership in financial sector, and a recent expansion of household debt from a relatively low base and often in high risk forms such as FX loans. These tendencies are co-constitutive with a set of broader conditions, such as under- or deregulation of housing provision and finance (often recently privatised), high rates of homeownership, undeveloped (social) renting, retrenched welfare states, and a prominent redistributive and welfare role of the family.

We invite contributions from anthropologists, sociologists, (political) economists, geographers and others on the interrelationships between processes of peripheral financialisation and:
  • the household as a social unit, object of financial technologies, and theoretical, analytical and statistical construct;
  • social relations and categories overlapping, crosscutting or enveloping the household (family, community, gender, class, status, generation, civic organisations, networks);
  • regimes of value within and outside of the household;
  • financial household property and liabilities – structural, spatial and historical variations;
  • housing and welfare provision and life-cycle management;
  • household-level decision-making and strategies.

Abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to and by 31 October 2017. Decisions will be made by 30 November 2017. We expect all speakers to participate in the full programme of the conference and to submit their revised papers for publication in an edited collection or special journal issue(s). Speakers’ travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Max Planck Institute if they cannot access other sources of funding. Please do not hesitate to contact the convenors with any queries.