‘A Kind of mental warfare’: An economy of affect in the UK debt collection industry

Walker, Carl, Hanna, Paul, Cunningham, Liz and Ambrose, Peter (2014) ‘A Kind of mental warfare’: An economy of affect in the UK debt collection industry. The Australian Community Psychologist, 26 (2). pp. 54-67. ISSN 1835-7393

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The ‘securitization’ of personal debt has increased the supply of credit and transformed lending patterns to focus on already indebted individuals. This paper draws upon
empirical research with a range of stakeholders in the UK mainstream credit industry in the South of England to interrogate the impact that recent changes to the industry have had on the growing number of revolving debtors. It seeks to contribute to the development of a Critical Community Psychology of debt by providing an account of the ways in which subjectivities and distress are impacted by engagements with financial institutions. Our findings suggest that a series of social, political and economic transformations have laid the grounds for the development of an industry where affective relations are central to the
management of the conduct of a growing number of people. We discuss these findings in terms of the growing literature which explores the complexity of the intersections between
markets and actions, which stem from and are mediated by the body and which posit distress as distributed across a range of sociotechnical apparatuses, sites and markets.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Social Sciences > Health and Social Care
Psychology > Social Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Liz Cunningham
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2021 17:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2021 17:10
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/14147

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