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Cultivating the self-reliant and responsible individual: the material culture of financial literacy


  • Ana C. Santos


This paper analyses the promotion of financial education by many national and international organisations around the world. Drawing on the material culture of financialisation, financial education policy is perceived as part of a broader neoliberal project to extend commodification and (re)construct social and economic reproduction in ways favourable to the financial sector. It argues that, while numerous contradictions inherent in financial education programmes jeopardise the goal of improving individual financial decisions through education, the ideological goal of these initiatives is not compromised. It is the neoliberal cultural project of cultivating self-reliance and individual responsibility at the expense of collective forms of provision across new areas of economic and social life.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana C. Santos, 2017. "Cultivating the self-reliant and responsible individual: the material culture of financial literacy," New Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 410-422, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:cnpexx:v:22:y:2017:i:4:p:410-422
    DOI: 10.1080/13563467.2017.1259302

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