Economies of anxiety: economic uncertainty in everyday practice

Stavroula Pipyrou (University of St Andrews)
Daniel Knight (University of St Andrews)
Angels Trias-i-Valls (Regent's University)
Paul Clough (University of Malta)
Salle des th├Ęses B16
Start time:
13 July, 2012 at 11:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel addresses responses to economic uncertainty through everyday practice. We invite papers that explore strategies and techniques of coping with anxiety created by the current economic crisis through 'reflexive moments' in quotidian life.

Long abstract:

Uncertainty can be found all around us as part of everyday existence. Some uncertainties have become so routine they may no longer be perceived as uncertain at all and surely not 'radical'. Attempts to define the current global economic crisis in terms of uncertainty have focused on macro-scale accounts of dramatic bailouts and incomprehensible numbers. Such grand definitions seem to have become complacent and over-ritualised. Although radical responses to austerity are observable across Europe, for the majority of people the consequences of transnational economic turmoil have materialised in critical self-reflexion. Going beyond understanding economic crisis as a radical uncertainty in itself, it is suggested that everyday elements (such as debt) have a more defined character of radicality than often given credit. Careful consideration of expenditure, debt, as well as the consumption of everyday and luxury commodities has resulted in a series of 'reflexive moments' rather than radical decisions. Austerity requires critical contemplation of everyday activities which induces moments of anxiety and stress. Quotidian necessities, like going to the supermarket, have become moments of anxiety which significantly affect consumer habits and our relationship with markets. This panel addresses economic uncertainty through 'reflexive moments' that capture the anxiety of everyday life. We invite papers that discuss techniques and strategies of coping with economic uncertainty on practical and quotidian levels.