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The imaginary constitution of financial crises

Komporozos-Athanasiou, A; Fotaki, M; (2020) The imaginary constitution of financial crises. The Sociological Review 10.1177/0038026119899350. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This article proposes an alternative sociological framework for dealing with the imaginary constitution of financial crises. Theorisation of financial crises is often limited by dualistic juxtaposition of the rational and irrational, moral and immoral, calculative and intuitive, thus neglecting the imaginary structuring of such dyads in the construction of financial and fiscal realities. To address this lacuna, we introduce ideas from philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis, and develop a framework that unpicks the often-suppressed, mediating and generative role of imagination in finance. On the one hand, we show how dominant forms of imagination enable the financialisation of contemporary societies, serving to sustain existing debt practices and lender–debtor relationships. On the other hand, we propose a re-animated ‘sociological imagination’ that offers potential avenues for establishing alternative social visions of the future that will enable re-thinking of the nature of debt, money and financial institutions.

Type: Article
Title: The imaginary constitution of financial crises
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0038026119899350
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038026119899350
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Cornelius Castoriadis, financial crises, financialisation, sociological imagination, sociology of debt
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087508
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