The Rhetoric of Financial Literacy
Journal article, 2012
This article concerns the use of rhetoric strategies in call for improved financial literacy and financial education. The article combines a presen- tation of how rhetoric is used in financial literacy improvement initia- tives and a discussion on the benefits of including a rhetoric framework in future studies of financial literacy and of finance economy in every- day life. The examples are sampled from the OECD website IGFE and from country-specific initiatives and programmes for improving levels of financial literacy in the general public. The central issue of the article is how the notions of objectivity and rationality together are prevail- ing as a general theme in the current discourse of the field. The dis- cussion includes how information on financial matters is presented in programme initiatives from mainly an objective and rational perspective and in this sense even may be seen as being ‘anti-rhetoric’. The notion of information accessibility does in this sense become a question of individual activity where the possibility to take ‘financial charge’ of the situation is linked to being able to process ‘objective’ information about financial markets and instruments. The rhetoric patterns of perceived rationality in the studied initiatives can further be seen as linked to personal morality and the incentive to be financially literate in order to control one’s personal economy.