The Subject of Retirement


  • Cameron Graham Schulich School of Business in Toronto



This paper examines the ”subject of retirement,” one of the most intimate governmental technologies of our present. It extends Read’s argument regarding Foucault’s views on neoliberalism, by providing explicit examples of the technologies of neoliberal government. Read drew attention to the intensification of governmentality by which neoliberalism has operated, and its pervasion into every aspect of society as the individual-as-citizen is transformed into the individual-as-entrepreneur. By examining the Canadian retirement income system, this paper provides a specific example of accounting as a tool of governmentality, a technology integral to neoliberalism’s regime of truth and its production of subjectivity.

Author Biography

Cameron Graham, Schulich School of Business in Toronto

Cameron Graham is Associate Professor of Accounting at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto. Dr. Graham’s research draws on social theory to examine the roles of accounting in society, particularly how it affects the poor and disadvantaged. He has conducted research looking at the World Bank’s education loans in Latin America, the accounting procedures and reports of the Department of Indian Affairs in Canada in the late 1800s, and the development of Canada’s retirement income system. His research has been published in leading journals such as Accounting, Organizations and Society and Accounting, Auditing, and Accountability Journal.




How to Cite

Graham, C. (2012). The Subject of Retirement. Foucault Studies, (13), 25–39.



Special Issue on Foucault and Accounting