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Polis (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-6568


MARAMBIO TAPIA, Alejandro. “Healthy” indebtedness, empowerment and social discipline. Polis [online]. 2018, vol.17, n.49, pp.79-101. ISSN 0718-6568.

The view of neoliberalism as governmentality lies on its dynamic structure that shapes and adopts the space-time features where it is set. Through this process, neoliberalism is able to co-opt the “real life” of individuals, including their construction and interpretation. This way, neoliberalism proposes and imposes subtle forms of control (Barry, Osborne, & Rose, 2013). By entering the circuit of normalisation and common sense or "acting wisely", debt becomes a control mechanism, due to its effects over the material life and the subjectivity of individuals. This article is based on interviews with managers of financial education state programmes and in-depth interviews with heads of households about their daily economic life, their meanings and the subjectivity around them. Public policies such as financial education are aimed at producing subjectivities tied to the "right to pay" and the right to borrow "healthily". Both activities are announced as a kind of "social empowerment", with discourses of individual social mobility, but ultimately, they just are forms of control.

Palabras clave : Debt; governmentality; subjectivity; neoliberalism; financial education.

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