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Insights and directions for sociological approaches to saving: The case of a Financial Education Programme for children in Portugal


Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


The recent contexts of financial and economic crises have fostered discourses and initiatives for encouraging people to save. Despite there being, for the sake of sustainability, a generalized support to educational measures for increasing savings from early childhood, a complete understanding of why and how people save has not yet been attained. The absence of sociological attention to the engagement of consumers in such financial decisions is particularly scant. This article takes the case-study of a financial education programme for children to suggest future directions for the sociological investigation of savings. Literature review and the analysis of a Portuguese programme revealed a clear absence of sociological insights in financial education programmes’ contents and procedures. However, sociological research has already come to relevant findings about social aspects and processes of financial decisions that allow for a better understanding of how consumers, and children in particular, learn about and behave in relation to money, consumption and savings. In our view, the study of savings should pay more attention to several adjoining, concurrent and complimentary practices encompassed in the consumption process. This article contributes not only to fill in the literature gaps identified by the study, but also to counter-offer non-judgemental research regarding current literature on the subject.