Financialization of everyday life in Sweden. Intersectional perspectives on housing and labor precarity


Chiara Valli , Carina Listerborn , Brett Christophers (Uppsala University)

This project analyses the financialization of everyday life in Sweden, how it originates in the recent shifts in the housing system, how it relates to changes in the labor market, how it embeds itself within socio-spatial relations and their gendered and racialized structures. 

Swedish households have never been in as much debt as they are today. They are amongst the most indebted in Europe and today’s younger homebuyers appear to take on more mortgage debt in real terms than previous generations ever did. This situation creates the biggest risk for the Swedish economy and society. Levels of labor precariousness have also raised, in the form of fixed-term, unsecure employments. These forms of contemporary precarity, and their (un)sustainability issues, affect mostly the young adults –‘millennials’-  generation, and arguably shape and deeply reconfigure societal structures and power relations. Yet, indebtedness and labor precarity have never been analyzed together in the Swedish context. This project contributes filling this knowledge gap by looking at the ‘everyday financialization’ of Swedish householders from an intersectional perspective that poses at its core the question of housing and other fundamental axes of inequality, labor precarity being the most prominent factor. The research is carried out through a mixed methods approach that triangulates political-economic analysis with multiple life-course interviews and participatory dissemination methodology.

Project leader: Chiara Valli

Financing body: The Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS)