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July 2018

The following is a transcript of a talk given by Prof. Lisa Adkins at the launch of Risking Together: How Finance Is Dominating Everyday Life in Australia by Dick Bryan and Mike Rafferty on 29 June 2018.

Photo of Prof. Lisa Atkins by Andy Roberts

First of all I’d like to congratulate Dick and Mike on their wonderful achievement and say that it is a great honour for me to be involved in the launch of the book.

What makes Risking Together such a great book?

It brings together Dick Bryan’s and Mike Rafferty’s work on finance and society that many of us have had the pleasure of hearing about in papers and presentations over recent years. But Risking Together is more than just a gathering of this recent work. It presents a compelling argument about how finance is implicated in major social changes that have taken place in Australia over the past 30 to 40 years. As this suggests, one of the many virtues of this book is that it is as much a work of sociology as it is of political economy. But unlike most sociological accounts, Bryan and Rafferty place finance at the very heart of social change. In fact, they argue that to understand the ways in which Australian society has changed we need to ‘think like finance’. In other words, to understand society now we need to understand the dynamics and operations of finance.

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