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Excessive Financialisation: Insuring Lifestyles, Enlivening Subjects, and Everyday Spaces of Biosocial Excess

Excessive Financialisation: Insuring Lifestyles, Enlivening Subjects, and Everyday Spaces of... The last two decades have witnessed, as part of a wider financialisation of British economy and society, a creeping privatisation of social welfare provision. Political justification for the expansion of privatised social insurance markets has frequently been couched in the language of responsibility. However, as the ‘credit crunch’ spectacularly attests and as studies of the dynamics of financialisation have succeeded in showing, financialised capitalism turns on excess. In this paper we explore some of the ways in which the reworking of long-term insurance or life assurance has contributed to the financialisation of everyday life. More particularly, we trace the emergence of what we call ‘lifestyle insurance’. Our purpose here is not only to begin to map the terrain and consider the consequences of this nascent modality of insurance in the UK, but in so doing to contribute to wider debates about the processes of subjectification that underwrite financialisation. In addition to pressing for a greater attention to be given to life assurance the paper suggests, by mobilising the figure of excess, three more areas to which studies of the financialisation of the everyday might productively attend: first, the financialisation of life itself; second, the ways in which financialisation is affectively charged; third, the spatial politics of financialisation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environment and Planning D: Society and Space SAGE

Excessive Financialisation: Insuring Lifestyles, Enlivening Subjects, and Everyday Spaces of Biosocial Excess

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References (74)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2009 SAGE Publications
ISSN
0263-7758
eISSN
1472-3433
DOI
10.1068/d7607
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The last two decades have witnessed, as part of a wider financialisation of British economy and society, a creeping privatisation of social welfare provision. Political justification for the expansion of privatised social insurance markets has frequently been couched in the language of responsibility. However, as the ‘credit crunch’ spectacularly attests and as studies of the dynamics of financialisation have succeeded in showing, financialised capitalism turns on excess. In this paper we explore some of the ways in which the reworking of long-term insurance or life assurance has contributed to the financialisation of everyday life. More particularly, we trace the emergence of what we call ‘lifestyle insurance’. Our purpose here is not only to begin to map the terrain and consider the consequences of this nascent modality of insurance in the UK, but in so doing to contribute to wider debates about the processes of subjectification that underwrite financialisation. In addition to pressing for a greater attention to be given to life assurance the paper suggests, by mobilising the figure of excess, three more areas to which studies of the financialisation of the everyday might productively attend: first, the financialisation of life itself; second, the ways in which financialisation is affectively charged; third, the spatial politics of financialisation.

Journal

Environment and Planning D: Society and SpaceSAGE

Published: Dec 1, 2009

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