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

Parasitic encounters in debt: The UK mainstream credit industry

Walker, Carl, Hanna, Paul, Cunningham, Liz and Ambrose, Peter (2015) Parasitic encounters in debt: The UK mainstream credit industry. Theory & Psychology, 25 (2). pp. 239-256. ISSN 0959-3543

Item Type: Article


Part of making visible the complex of institutions and practices that create and make knowable experiences of debt-related distress is to focus on the classed nature of these experiences. Contemporary bureaucracies of debt and distress need to be understood as reproducing divisions of status, power, and access to resources. The imposition of precarious forms of wage labour for those trapped at the bottom of what is an increasingly polarizing class structure has been shaped by very specific sets of financial practices where a deregulated personal debt industry has integrated subordinate classes into a web of financial relations through private pensions, consumer credit, and mortgages. This article draws upon empirical research with a range of stakeholders in the UK mainstream credit industry. We contend that the institutional logics, discourses, myths, and operational processes of the variety of agencies and actors in the UK mainstream credit sector have, through the radical changes of financial liberalization, evolved into a functional industry. This industry serves to enable, support, and enact social relational and economic practices that can best be understood through the metaphor of parasitism. This paper explores the specific organizational and relational practices that allow the financial exploitation of a beleaguered precariat.

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Depositing User: Liz Cunningham


Item ID: 13941
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ISSN: 0959-3543
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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2021 15:51
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 15:51


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

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Social Sciences

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