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Creditonormativity

This is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I thought I would offer a preliminary definition of a word that I made up after reading Randy Martin’s Financialization of Everyday Life. The word came up again today, after a Twitter exchange with Audrey Watters, Bon Stewart, and Tressie McMillan Cottom about Pearson’s abysmal delivery of the GED, which requires individuals to pay for sample tests with a credit card.

Creditonormativity: Asserts that participation in the credit system of finance is the norm and is therefore the only and expected financial orientation. This orientation is then used to legitimate participation in a range of otherwise exclusionary social exchanges and relations. A creditonormative society is compulsory and involves the alignment of body, mind, and wallet with the biopolitical governance of financialization.

“You don’t have a credit card?”
“You have to have a credit card.”
“How are you going to rent a car?”
“How are you going to get a cell phone?”
“How are you going to rent an apartment?”
“How are you ever going to buy a house?”
“How are you going to buy a plane ticket?”
“Pay as you go credit cards? No, that’s not what I meant.”
“Your debit card has been declined. Don’t you have another card?”
“Cash. No, we don’t accept cash.”
“How are you going to live without a credit card?”

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2 thoughts on “Creditonormativity

  1. RF says:

    Buy a plane ticket with cash? You must be a terrorist!
    I love the idea of the creditonormative. I hear it as being the next iteration of D&G’s idea of the “axiomatic.”

  2. […] Asserts that participation in the credit system of finance is the norm and is therefore the only and… This orientation is then used to legitimate participation in a range of otherwise exclusionary […]

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