Constituting financialized subjectivities: cultural political economy of financial literacy in Turkey


TURKISH STUDIES, vol.20, no.5, pp.680-707, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683849.2018.1520103
  • Journal Name: TURKISH STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.680-707
  • Keywords: Financial literacy, financialization, cultural political economy, Turkey, MARKET, CREDIT
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Financial literacy is defined as the knowledge, skills, and ability to navigate increasingly complex financial markets, and is considered to empower consumers to make responsible financial decisions. It has been widely promoted as a crucial life skill following the 2008 financial crisis. This study critically analyzes financial literacy education initiatives in Turkey through ethnographic research. Financial literacy curricula provide the basic knowledge of finance as well as instruct subjects ways to conduct financial planning, budgeting, debt management, creditworthiness, saving, and investment. Financial literacy agenda deepens neo-liberal governmentality by promoting an entrepreneurial subjectivity and making individuals more aware and responsible for social risks. The cultural political economy perspective of this study analyzes financialized capital accumulation dynamics together with the reshaping of culture and the constitution of financialized subjectivities.