Gender, Entrepreneurial Subjectivity, and Pathologies of Personal Finance

Socpol: Social Politics, Volume 20, Number 2, pp. 242–273, Summer 2013

32 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2014

See all articles by Miranda Joseph

Miranda Joseph

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

This essay examines the constitution of gendered norms for personal financial attitudes and behaviors through the production and circulation of knowledge, especially statistical articulation of populations, across the domains of popular culture, marketing research, and legitimate social science. It thus addresses a nexus of two central features of neoliberalism: governmentality and financialization. It argues that gendered norms play a key role in articulating neoliberal norms more broadly. Specifically, negative, pathologized, portrayals of women as impulsive shopaholics on one hand and paralyzed non-investors on the other indicate the boundaries of responsible entrepreneurial subjectivity. At the same time, these portrayals, found across a range of discursive sites, proffer images of proper femininity and masculinity, to be achieved through the enactment of different configurations of financial attitudes and behaviors. Noting the diversity and internal contradictions implicit in responsible entrepreneurial subjectivity (really, subjectivities), the essay concludes with a consideration of the implications of the current financial crisis and concomitant shifts in the evaluation of gendered behaviors.

Keywords: neoliberalism, finance, gender

Suggested Citation

Joseph, Miranda, Gender, Entrepreneurial Subjectivity, and Pathologies of Personal Finance (2013). Socpol: Social Politics, Volume 20, Number 2, pp. 242–273, Summer 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2460268

Miranda Joseph (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

420 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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