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VIDEO DOI: https://doi.org/10.48448/y4xe-2961


AAA Annual Meeting 2021

November 18, 2021

Baltimore, United States

Financing the Future: Truth, Responsibility, and the Making of Financial Worlds


economic anthropology

critical anthropology


At a moment when economic inequality is ravaging the lives of people across the globe, anthropologists have an obligation to critically interrogate the processes through which financial worlds and futures are made. Who bears responsibility for the financial crises and coups that have devastated the lives of many, and significantly enriched an elite few? How can anthropological knowledge be used to not only bear witness to the making of financial futures, but also to challenge the claims upon which they are founded and the practices through which they are forged? Bringing together a diverse group of scholars working at both the graduate and post-graduate level, this roundtable panel seeks to address these questions. It engages scholarship in the anthropology of finance and the anthropology of the future to consider how futures, both collective and individual, are financed, and how finance, in turn, shapes imaginings and experiences of the future. By exploring the making of financial futures across a range of ethnographic contexts the panel asks: How does financial expertise become an organizing discourse that mediates people’s understandings of temporality, risk and possibility? How are prisms of truth and responsibility reconstituted by these emergent set of experts? How are financial figures, forecasts, and ratings discursively and ideologically deployed to generate "objective" forms of economic knowledge and financial "truth"? How does the construction of "objective" financial knowledge serve to deepen indebtedness and exacerbate inequality by asymmetrically assigning financial responsibilities? Collectively, the goal of this roundtable is two-fold. First, to illuminate the ideological and cultural underpinnings of what often appear as inviolable financial truths. And second, to demonstrate that anthropological knowledge can play a vital role in creating futures that are more equitable, heterogeneous and inclusive, rather than controlled by powerful self-serving financial elites.


Transcript English (automatic)

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