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Gender and the Paradoxes of Dis/Embodied Finance

Wednesday 12 March 2014, 12.15PM

Speaker(s): Dr Adrienne Roberts

This paper seeks to critically engage with four mainstream tropes that have emerged in recent years regarding the relationship between gender (in)equality and processes of financialisation: the ‘technocratic equality’, the ‘financial empowerment’, the ‘women as saviours’, and the ‘womenomics’ tropes. While all of these tropes project a future in which the expansion of finance into more and more spaces of the globe can lead the global economy out of recession while simultaneously addressing the problems of gender inequality, a critical interrogation of these tropes, and the policies that they help to foster, reveals a less sanguine picture. Building on feminist and historical materialist conceptualizations of financialisation and the body, this paper argues that just as capital is characterised by the opposing tendencies toward equalisation (i.e. the universalisation of wage labour) and differentiation (i.e. through uneven development) so too has capitalist financialisation simultaneously equalized and intensified gender. This paper outlines a series of contradictions that emerge within and between these tropes in order to draw attention to some of the complex ways in which financialisation is both eroding and intensifying gender, partly along the lines of class, race, nationality and geographic location.

Location: Derwent College, room D/N/104