The Intimate Relationship
A Cultural-Economic History of Everyday Finances
In most western societies today it is nearly impossible to manage one’s life without a bank account. Formal financial institutions are in many ways involved in our daily life and in the allocation of almost every penny we earn, spend, borrow, invest or simply transfer to each other. Although savings accounts were common already in the 19th century in Sweden, a close everyday relationship between banks and ordinary people started to develop in the late 1950s. The proposed book explores the cultural problems and changes that this transition necessarily involved –already before de so called financialisation since the 1980s. This is a story about class: how did workers start to use check accounts offered by commercial banks, something that only the most privileged held before? And a story about gender: why and how were finances and banking redefined in a more feminine and domestic frame? It is also about moralities and the attempts to de-stigmatize consumer credit when credit cards were introduced. And lastly about financial knowledge (financial literacy) and the practices and negotiations concerning what ordinary people should know about everyday finance and who should advise them.
This is a forthcoming book project, funded by RJ Sabbatical.