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Speculative Futures In The Time Of Debt
Professor Lisa Adkins
This paper concerns the temporality of debt. Against the claim that the society of debt has emptied out futures via the elevation of the promise to pay to a total social fact, I will suggest that the time of securitized debt is speculative in form. Thus, in the time of securitized debt, pasts, presents and futures do not stand in a pre-set relation to one another, but are open to a constant state of revision: they may be drawn and redrawn, assembled and disassembled, set and reset. This time is tracked across changing schedules of household and personal debt - and crucially in the logics of accumulation via securitized debt – to argue that far from emptying out futures debt society demands subjects who must constantly adjust to recalibrations of pasts, presents and futures as well as to changes in the relations between and across these states.
Lisa Adkins is Professor of Sociology at the University of Newcastle, Australia; Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor at the University of Tampere, Finland; and the Joint Editor-in-Chief of Australian Feminist Studies. Her many books include Revisions: Gender and Sexuality in Late Modernity; Measure and Value; Feminism After Bourdieu and The Post-Fordist Sexual Contract: Working and Living in Contingency.