Jiwon Kim

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Johns Hopkins U.

Grant number

Gr. 10696

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Kim, Jiwon (Johns Hopkins U.) "Banking on Waste: Financialization and Householding in Indonesia"

My dissertational project studies the emergence of waste as a crucial means to financialize households in Indonesia, examining the promise of the future it enacts. The Indonesian experience from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis stressed the significance of households and their savings in responding to financial turmoil. This collective memory paved the way for integrating household economies into financial capitalism, giving rise to “waste banks” in Indonesia since the 2000s. These unique banks represent a novel financial modality that transforms waste into household savings. Managed primarily by working-class housewives, the waste bank program actively promotes household waste recycling through savings programs. Waste is envisioned as a valuable and ideal resource, aligning with the globally prominent concept of the circular economy, and marking a crucial moment in the process of financialization. Over 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the city of Bekasi, West Java, this research investigates how household waste is transformed into a form of financial capital and thereby recreates households, neighborhoods, and the citizenry. At its core, this inquiry attends to the reorientation of domestic subjectivity as the pursuit of financialization, in response to ecological predicament, extending to the unexpected domain of household waste.