From ESA – Strategies & Activities

President's Message Sue Scott
ESA Office Communiqué – Andreia Batista Dias Andreia Batista Dias
ESA Office Communiqué – Dagmar Danko Dagmar Danko
ESA Office Communiqué – Gisèle Tchinda-Falcucci Ricca Edmondson
13th ESA Conference Report Athens 2017 – ESA Christian Fuchs
13th ESA Conference Report Athens 2017 – LOC Apostolos G. Papadopoulos
PhD Summer School Athens 2017 Airi-Alina Allaste
ESA Journals News – European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology Ricca Edmondson
ESA Journals News – European Societies Michalis Lianos
RN Reports – RN06 Critical Political Economy Angela Wigger
RN Reports – RN15 Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Sociology Marco Caselli
RN Reports – RN33 Women’s and Gender Studies Consuelo Corradi
NA Reports – Austrian Sociological Association (OeGS) Martin Weichbold
NA Reports – Croatian Sociological Association (CSA) Jasminka Lažnjak
NA Reports – Danish Sociological Association (DSF) Anna Ilsøe
NA Reports – Italian Sociological Association (AIS) Enrica Amaturo
NA Reports – Lithuanian Sociological Association (LSA) Milda Ališauskienė
NA Reports – Portuguese Sociological Association (APS) João Teixeira Lopes
NA Reports – Swiss Sociological Association (SSA) Rainer Diaz-Bone
Thesis Spotlights – The spreading of hostility: Unraveling of social norms in communication Amalia Alvarez Benjumea
Thesis Spotlights – Aspirations, Attainments & Strategies: Descendants of Middle Eastern Immigrants on the Swedish Labour Market Pinar Aslan
Thesis Spotlights – Gendered Childhood, Media Beauty Ideals and the Role of Education Galatia Kallitsi
Thesis Spotlights – Discursive Construction and Materiality of Debt in Context of Housing: Forming Semi-Financialized Subjects Tomáš Samec
Thesis Spotlights – Controlling risks or continuously preventing the worst? Risk management in large financial organisations Anne van der Graaf

Thesis Spotlights – Discursive Construction and Materiality of Debt in Context of Housing: Forming Semi-Financialized Subjects

Issue 41: Metrics Wed 18 Apr 2018

Tomáš Samec, PhD student, Czech Republic

Email: tomas.samec [at] fsv.cuni.cz; https://cas-cz.academia.edu/TomášSamec
Institution: Institute of Sociological Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Time: Enrolled in September 2014, date of defense in September 2018
Supervisor: Doc. Martin Hájek, PhD
Funding: The study was supported by Charles University, project GA UK No. 897716.

Housing debts have become not only fuel for the global financialized economy but an instrument for many dreams and worries to become true in the lives of debtors. The thesis explores the intersections of public and private discourses on housing debt in the case of the Czech Republic asking ‘to what extent have become households financialized through discourse – embracing financial products and logic of financial markets in the context of housing?’ The Czech Republic represents the region of Central and Eastern Europe experiencing a specific case of ‘rapid financialization’ since the 1990s’ transformation. The link between the mortgages, intergenerational financial transfers and the financialization of everyday life performed through discourse is unfolded through the framework of layered performativity.

In this framework rhetoric, sociotechnical devices and references to practices are examined to discover how housing debt became the most important site for the disciplining and responsibilisation of the (prospective) debtors, whereas mortgages serve as a technology of financial governance. In this process, the crucial role of the affect management was identified. The media performed the urgency to take on a loan; the narratives of debtors revealed various strategies to ‘tame the mortgages’ by transforming them from the feared debt to the reasonable financial tool which delivers certainty. The domestic and financialized realms are thus linked through affects making the households semi-financialized – accepting the logic of calculation and financial vocabulary, but essentially being risk-averse and longing for security.

The intergenerational transfers, in turn, serve to secure the households and essentially fuel the mortgage debt circuits which further reproduces the inequalities between the (soon-to-become) homeowners and those who may not afford the purchase. Together with the discourse which effectively disallows imagining and formulating a vivid alternative to homeownership achieved through mortgages this creates the potential for the housing crises and puts pressure on those who are not able to qualify for loans and thus reach for quality housing.