Madrid Institute for advanced Study
Financialized Adulthood in Europe
My project tackles the mismatch between the social and normative organization of the life course, as a smooth transition from school, through lifelong employment, to comfortable retirement, with contemporary lives in Europe and beyond. This mismatch is most conspicuous in the tensions surrounding adulthood.
Prolonged adolescence, “boomerang kids”, concerns about premature aging and anti-aging campaigns that cater to these concerns, all attract public attention. Many now question the erstwhile view of adulthood as life’s pinnacle, their capacity to inhabit this role, and the values traditionally associated with it. My research aims to delineate guiding notions about one’s role in society as an adult in the ways in which the saving, investing and insurance practices that anchor adulthood are advanced and received.
It will thereby trace how these notions encourage specific ways of placing one’s money in circulation and their relation to finance-led accumulation.
After obtaining a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago, Hadas Weiss has held a string of postdoctoral appointments in Germany, Finland and Hungary. She specializes in economic anthropology, critical theory and capitalism.
Her research in recent years has been on the social underpinnings and consequences of financialization, with a focus on household economics. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in (her native) Israel and in Germany, and she is now preparing to do the same in Spain as well.
She has published extensively in anthropology and cross-disciplinary journals, and her first monograph, We Have Never Been Middle Class, is forthcoming with Verso.
- Weiss H., “Popfinance: From the economic man to the Swabian housewife. HAU”, Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 8/3, 2018, in Press.
- Weiss H., “Lifecycle planning and responsibility: Prospection and retrospection in Germany”, Ethnos, 2018 [doi: 10.1080/00141844.2018.1484505].
- Weiss H., “Financialization and its discontents: Israelis negotiating pensions”, American Anthropologist, 2015, 117/3, pp. 501-518.