The Financialisation of the Everyday Economy

My primary research interest is the financialisation of the everyday economy. Financialisation refers to a process in which the uncertainty of the future is transformed into a realm of probabilities. This is achieved by creating taken for granted expectations (Harold Garfinkel).

Taken for granted expectations motivate actors to comply to expectations of others in order to achieve their ends-in-view (John Dewey). Taken for granted expectations are relatively weak motivations, always amenable to the individual creativity of action. In the capitalist economy, these weak motivations are stabilised by the social institutions of contract and exclusive property. Contracts oblige and property expels others from usage. These institutions are woven into a thick fabric of ruling relations (Dorothy E. Smith), which build the relatively stable environment of social interaction.

Neither contracts nor property are universal, both are the result of historical developments which were dominated by the Atlantic powers for a long time. As a result, the majority of the world population, living in the global South, is subjugated to an economic system dominated by practices they cannot control. Their ressources are extracted and transferred to sustain the living conditions in North America, Europe and a few other places. The effects of the Chinese ascendency on this constellation will be interesting to observe.

Currently I'm working on a comparative research project "Eigentum und Vertrag in der Besicherung finanzialisierter Alltagsökonomie" (The role of ownership and contract in collateralising the financialised everyday economy), funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. The project is hosted at the Department of Sociology, University of Giessen, and will run until March 2020.

It aims at a comparison of the development of contract and ownership in South Africa, the United States and Germany.


05-06/2017 Habilitation (Doctor rerum socialum habilitatus) and Privatdozent

  • Thesis Credit and Debt in an Unequal Society. Establishing a Consumer Credit Market in South Africa
  • Lecture The German debate on 'Lügenpresse' (lying press) as a problem of democratic deliberation

12/2006 PhD (Doctor rerum socialum)

  • Thesis Die kollektive Erinnerung von Staatsverbrechen: eine qualitative Diskursanalyse über die parlamentarische Bewertung der SED-Diktatur

06/1998 Magister Artium (Political Science, Medieval History and Sociology)

  • Thesis Der politische Umgang mit der Globalsteuerung in der BRD 1973-76

Work experience

  • since 04/2018 Principial investigator The role of ownership and contracts in collaterising the financialised everyday economy, Department of Sociology, University of Giessen
  • 03/2014 - 03/2018 Scientific assistant and substitute professorship (04-09/2016), Department of Sociology, University of Gießen
  • 03/2012 - 02/2014 Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Pretoria
  • 04/2008 - 02/2012 Scientific assistant and substitute professorship (04-09/2011), Department of Sociology, University of Gießen
  • 10/1998 - 03/2008 Scientific assistant of a MP, Deutscher Bundestag (German Parliament)

Some recent publications

  • Schraten, Jürgen 2017: Alternative Theoretisierungen von Marktwirtschaften, in Stephan Lessenich (ed.), Geschlossene Gesellschaften, Verhandlungen des 38. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Bamberg 2016.
  • Schraten, Jürgen 2017: Die Klammerung der Energiewende in Webportalen. In Sebastian Giacovelli (ed.), Die Energiewende aus wirtschaftssoziologischer Sicht, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, pp. 181-202.
  • Schraten, Jürgen 2016: Credit as a Source of Debts and Wealth. Przeglad Socjologiczny 65(3): 81-110.
  • Schraten, Jürgen 2015: Habits of Austerity, Financialization and New Ways of Dealing with Money, in Keith Hart (ed.), Economy For and Against Democracy, New York, NY: Berghahn, pp. 19-37.
  • Heuer, Jan-Ocko and Jürgen Schraten 2015: Finanzialisierung des Alltags als Herausforderung für den Sozialstaat. In Zeitschrift für Sozialreform 61(3): 229-238.


  • Schraten, Jürgen 2011: Zur Aktualität von Jan Assmann. Einleitung in sein Werk. Aus der Reihe: Aktuelle und Klassische KulturwissenschaftlerInnen, herausgegeben von Stephan Moebius. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.
  • Schraten, Jürgen 2007: Die kollektive Erinnerung von Staatsverbrechen. Eine qualitative Diskursanalyse über die parlamentarische Bewertung der SED-Diktatur. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag.

Memberships and support

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS, German Sociological Association)
  • Associate of the Human Economy Programme, University of Pretoria
  • Sektion Wirtschaftsoziologie der DGS (Economic Scoiologists of the DGS)
  • Sektion Politische Soziologie der DGS (Political Sociologists of the DGS)
  • Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW, trade union)
  • Fritz-Bauer-Institute Frankfurt (Study- and Documentation Centre on the History and Impact of the Holocaust)
  • Pro Asyl
  • Amnesty International

Making contact: Department of Sociology, University of Giessen

Rome wasn't burnt in a day.