Queering the biofinancial subject: Figuring the child in the straight space-times of debt.

Authors: Shaun French*, University Of Nottingham
Topics: Economic Geography, Social Geography, Social Theory
Keywords: Financial subject; Biofinancialisation; child; queer theory
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon A3, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The figure of the child habitually mediates market encounters between mass finance and the indebted subject. While interdisciplinary scholars have drawn attention to, and critically interrogated the heteronormative politics of global finance and crisis, as well as the gender politics of everyday debt under conditions of financialised capitalism, little attention has been specifically paid to the child. The paper seeks to address this lacuna in two ways. First, the paper critically examines the spatial semiotics and ontologies of payday loan and life insurance advertising in the UK, and in so doing explores the heteronormative sociomaterialities of the financialisation of everyday life. I argue that the figure of the child plays a dual role in the domestication of credit-debt. On the one hand, the child is central to the figuring of consumer credit as indispensable to social reproduction in the present. On the other hand, the child looms large in insurantial promises to secure the financial subject against the existential threat that debt itself simultaneously poses to the reproduction of social reproduction in the future. Second, the paper considers the space-times of the child in credit-debt relations through the particular queer conceptual lens of ‘reproductive futurity’. Attention to the granular patterns of everyday biofinancialisation reveals the constitutive spatialities of the figure of the child; spatialities that I contend bring to the fore the limits of extant interdisciplinary accounts of the quotidian logics and politics of debt that have to date privileged time over space.

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