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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The Indebted Individual: Dominant Discourses and Alternative Understandings of Personal Debt in the UK

Hanna, Paul, Cunningham, Liz and Walker, Carl (2015) The Indebted Individual: Dominant Discourses and Alternative Understandings of Personal Debt in the UK. In: Social and Psychological Dimensions of Personal Debt and the Debt Industry. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 203-221. ISBN 9781137407795

Item Type: Book Section


This chapter offers an account of individual indebtedness which attempts to explore the possibility of seeing debt differently. The authors draw on Foucault's understanding of power, knowledge and agency to provide a theoretical account of how individual indebtedness might be seen through an alternative lens. Their contribution draws on data from interviews with a range of stakeholders within the UK debt industry to highlight the "moments of resistance" that were discovered in the interview data in which alternative discourses come to the fore, facilitating an alternative construction of the problem of debt, and subsequently repositioning the "indebted individual" in a more sympathetic position. The chapter concludes by suggesting that attention needs to be paid to challenging banking policies, "educational" initiatives, financial discourses and the individualisation thesis proliferated in much of the mainstream psychology if we are to challenge the entrenched structural precursors of personal debt. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

S. , & C. Walker (Eds.)

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Depositing User: Liz Cunningham


Item ID: 13939
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ISBN: 9781137407795
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Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2021 15:49
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 15:49


Author: Paul Hanna
Author: Liz Cunningham
Author: Carl Walker

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Social Sciences

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