Everyday Financialization: The Case of UK Households

Hillig, Ariane. 2019. Everyday Financialization: The Case of UK Households. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 51(7), pp. 1460-1478. ISSN 0308-518X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In recent decades, the UK government has been promoting private asset ownership while reducing publicly funded welfare programmes. This asset-based welfare approach calls on households to accumulate assets for the purpose of providing financial security during periods of income shortfall. Informed by Foucault’s concept of governmentality and drawing on semi-structured interviews, I explore how norms of asset ownership are constructed and embedded in everyday life. The empirical insights presented here reveal a twofold contribution to the literature. First, looking to debates within the financialization of everyday life literature, I demonstrate that UK households conform to asset norms despite being critical of them. Households develop a three-pronged asset-accumulation strategy consisting of homeownership, savings and pension investments. Second, I shed light on the interplay between norms of asset ownership and work relationships. To be able to save and invest, interviewed households increase work hours, choose a job solely based on income and make sure to work hard. Asset norms thus reinforce existing power relationships incorporated in capital–labour inequalities.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Asset accumulation, everyday asset manager, financialization of everyday life, power technology, United Kingdom

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


20 March 2019Accepted
18 April 2019Published Online
October 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

18 Jan 2019 13:22

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2021 20:17

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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