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Everyday economies of inflation: value, social repertoires, and political critique 
Sian Lazar (University of Cambridge)
Ståle Wig (University of Oslo)
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Eva van Roekel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Ståle Wig (University of Oslo)
Tuesday 23 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

How might we best understand the effects of inflation and currency volatility on everyday economic action? This panel explores monetary disorder as a socio-economic and cultural reality that shapes people’s lives, behaviours, and aspirations in times of crisis, both chronic and exceptional.

Long Abstract:

Amid global recession and economic and political uncertainty, inflation has become a major concern across the world. How might we understand this anthropologically as a form of ‘undoing’ of value in financial, social, and/or symbolic ways? The panel explores what happens when economic volatility has become the status quo, and how, in these everyday economies, people create new structures of economic exchange and alternative ways to store value, finding ways of ‘doing’ and ‘undoing’ amid inflationary crises both chronic and exceptional. What kinds of ad hoc economic decision-making and new strategies for survival and even profit emerge? We recognise that while ordinary people adapt to crisis, they also critically reflect on the economic and political implications of their actions and those of their governments. How does this relate to current economic and political experimentation, both left- and right-wing?

People’s economic, social, political, and cultural lives are moulded by the experience of inflation, providing fertile terrain for anthropological study. We invite papers that explore this terrain through the everyday decisions made by people as producers, consumers, small business-owners, etc., as they assess how to price their goods, invest their earnings, store value for the future, and provision for their families, amidst currency volatility and proliferation. Living with monetary disorder does not mean accepting it, so we also invite papers that document the moral, political, and economic critiques that emerge from these everyday experiences. Finally, we also invite speakers to reflect methodologically on how to conduct an ethnography of inflation.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -