Christina Research Seminar
Lisa Adkins, What Can Money Do? Feminist Theory in Austere Times
Time: 7.4.2015 14-16
Place: University of Helsinki, Topelia building, lecture hall D112
Street address: Unioninkatu 38
Abstract: What can money do? Can it be put to work to address deepening forms of social and economic inequality associated with the financial crisis, recession and still unfolding politics of austerity? Can we have faith in money as an injustice remedying substance in a crisis ridden and yet still thoroughly financialized reality? While the latter scenario is implied in recent feminist calls to redistribute resources to redress widening socio-economic inequalities under austerity, in this talk I suggest that such a redistributive logic fails to account for the shifting capacities of resources, including the capacities of money. To track these shifting capacities, I revisit the demands of the 1970s women’s liberation movement and especially the assumptions at play in these demands that money both measure and distribute justice. While these assumptions were arguably politically efficacious in that moment, in the contemporary present pervasive financialization has involved a material transformation to the capacities of money, a transformation which, I will suggest, leaves its justice distributing potential in doubt. This talk therefore not only calls for careful exploration of the capacities of resources in analyses of crisis, recession and austerity but also for feminist theory to rethink redistributive justice in the light of such transformations. Central to these considerations is money in the wages form.