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Title: The landscape of consumer credit default : tracing technologies of market attachment
Author: Deville, Joseph
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 8240
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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The first global recession of the twenty-first century has been widely characterised as a crisis rooted in secured credit default. But in the UK, a different, less visible, but increasingly common tale of credit default exists, which not only predates the economic downturn, but continues to compound its effects: that of unsecured, consumer credit default. This is the object of this thesis: it focuses on tracing the changing calculative landscapes that heavily indebted and defaulting consumer credit borrowers in the UK move through, from periods of borrowing, to managing debts, to being confronted by debt collectors. It draws together the perspectives of borrowers, defaulters, collectors, industry analysts and spokespersons, as well as insights from visits to three major debt collection agencies, shedding light on a domain of socio-economic life which has been subject to little detailed empirical research. At the centre of the thesis is the concept of ‘market attachment’, drawing on work within the ‘economization’ programme within economic sociology. In so doing, the thesis argues that in existing accounts of market attachment there has been a lack of attention (a) to the variable modes through which markets seek to enact attachments between consumer and producer and (b) to those constraining market attachments from which ‘detachment’ is difficult. In particular, the thesis explores the relationship between ‘affective’ modes of social action and economic calculation. Drawing attention to how emergent, corporeal relations can become central to markets, the thesis contributes towards enriching the vocabulary and expanding the potential empirical focus of economic sociology. In so doing, the thesis explores the distributed politics of consumer credit, centring on the separation enacted between ‘lender’ and ‘collector’. This separation, the thesis argues, is not only useful for the collections industry, it is strategically put to work and routinely re-enacted as a generative market device.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available