Watch out your Money and Behave

Learning Autonomy by the Bank
By Jeanne Lazarus

Assuming that regarding young adults “being autonomous” means, in most cases, that they be financially independent, this article intends to analyse the terms and limitations of this financial autonomy by focusing on the relationship between the youth and banks. From an interview survey and observation, we show that banks offer autonomy in exchange for a new kind of heteronomy. The way young people are socialized to banks’ practices is marked by a constitutive ambiguity. The second part of the article, based on interviews with “young qualified urbans”, explores how they adapt to the standards imposed by banks and the high costs of possible resistance.

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