|28 Jan 2022||17:00-18:30||online|
Socioeconomic inequality has been growing in Britain over a period of 40 years, following a series of policy developments intended to reduce government expenditure by cutting or restructuring welfare provision and benefits. The more recent introduction of austerity measures in 2010, following the global financial crisis, saw a pronounced reduction in assistance available to struggling households, at the same time as stagnating wages, a shrinking labour market, and a rising cost of living stretched household finances. The depletion of personal savings and the accrual of vast amounts of debt have resulted in precariousness for individuals and families across the country, even when they are in full-time employment or working multiple jobs. In her book, Niamh Mulcahy illustrates how households become financially precarious, as a result of the spread of risk from capital markets into household finances through consumer finance products such as loans, mortgages and credit cards, as well as personal investment products, which tie savings to a fluctuating market. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s theory of subjectivation, alongside Louis Althusser’s interest in the institutionalisation of class-based inequality, the book examines how households become trapped in a state of financial precariousness through the promotion of risk-taking methods that are intended to produce greater rewards and self-sufficiency.
Dr Niamh Mulcahy completed a PhD in Sociology at the University of Cambridge in 2019, where she was also a member of King’s College. Her earlier degrees, including a BA (Honours) and MA were undertaken at the University of Alberta, in Canada.
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