Situating financial literacy
2014 (English)In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, ISSN 1045-2354, E-ISSN 1095-9955, Vol. 25, no 1, 36-45 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This paper comments on the conceptualisation of financial literacy by investigating how it is defined, problematised, and operationalised as a part of the efforts to overcome its perceived impediments. The backdrop of this study is the idea that the financial literacy movement goes hand in hand with the financialisation of society. By reporting from a study of financial literacy practices, the aim is to disentangle the notion of financial literacy from the assumption that it is a singular capability that, when gained, will automatically affect people's financial practices. The paper draws on a recent development in literacy research, New Literacy Studies, and on its division into autonomous and ideological definitions of literacy. The empirical illustrations originate from the efforts made to decrease financial illiteracy among Swedish adolescents and the demand for financial literacy in audit committees. Contrary to earlier studies, this paper demonstrates that financial literacy does not merely refer to a character trait that researchers may find lacking among the marginalised actors in society. Financial literacy cannot merely be viewed as the ability to read and write in the language of finance and accounting. Instead, financial literacy is a concept that needs to be situated and studied in practice because the characteristics that constitute financial literacy, or those that apply to it, vary with time and place.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 25, no 1, 36-45 p.
Critical, accounting education, financial literacy, financialisation, financial education, audit committees, new literacy studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-85849DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2012.11.011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-85849DiVA: diva2:585160