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Situating Financial Literacy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies. (Musica)
Företagsekonomiska institutionen/Stockholm University School of Business. (Musica)
Företagsekonomiska institutionen/Stockholm University School of Business. (Musica)
(English)In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, ISSN 1045-2354, E-ISSN 1095-9955Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This paper comments on the conceptualisation of financial literacy by investigating the way it is defined, problematised, and operationalised in efforts to overcome its perceived impediments. The backdrop of this study is the idea that the financial literacy movement goes hand in hand with the financialisation of society. By reporting from a study of practices of financial literacy, the aim is to problematise prior literature by disentangling the notion of financial literacy from the assumption of a singular capability that, when gained, automatically effects people’s financial practices. The paper draws on recent developments in literacy research, New Literacy Studies, and on its division between autonomous and ideological definitions of literacy. The empirical illustrations originate from efforts made to decrease financial illiteracy among Swedish adolescents and the demand for financial literacy in audit committees. Contrary to earlier studies, the paper demonstrates that financial literacy does not merely refer to an ostensive character that researchers may find lacking among marginalised actors in society. As such, financial literacy cannot be viewed as merely the ability to read and write finance and accounting. Instead, financial literacy is a concept that needs to be situated and studied in practice since what constitutes and applies to it varies with time and place.

Keyword [en]
financial literacy, new literacy studies, situated practice, financial education, audit committees
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-172678OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-172678DiVA: diva2:515416
Available from: 2012-04-12 Created: 2012-04-12 Last updated: 2012-05-14Bibliographically approved

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Bay, Charlotta
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