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Suspensory indebtedness: temporality, morality and power asymmetry in experiences of unsecured consumer debt

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Suspensory indebtedness : temporality, morality and power asymmetry in experiences of unsecured consumer debt. / Davey, Ryan.

In: Economy and Society, Vol. 48, No. 4, 29.11.2019, p. 532-553.

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@article{7e44ecbb97274a029ea1e4eccb7b7889,
title = "Suspensory indebtedness: temporality, morality and power asymmetry in experiences of unsecured consumer debt",
abstract = "The power asymmetries operating through debt include not only the domination of conduct and the extraction of wealth but also unequal struggles to define value. Long-term ethnographic fieldwork on a low-income housing estate in southern England revealed a ‘suspensory’ approach to debt, in which those who cannot afford to comply with their creditors’ debt repayment demands suspend both the temporal point at which debts will end through repayment or enforcement and the dominant morality of repayment through amoral humour about being a bad debtor. This shows that the form of power asymmetry that debtors experience, if any, hinges on their relation to both the morality and temporality of repayment.",
keywords = "debt, inequality, morality, temporality, joking, value",
author = "Ryan Davey",
year = "2019",
month = "11",
day = "29",
doi = "10.1080/03085147.2019.1652985",
language = "English",
volume = "48",
pages = "532--553",
journal = "Economy and Society",
issn = "0308-5147",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis Group",
number = "4",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - Suspensory indebtedness

T2 - temporality, morality and power asymmetry in experiences of unsecured consumer debt

AU - Davey, Ryan

PY - 2019/11/29

Y1 - 2019/11/29

N2 - The power asymmetries operating through debt include not only the domination of conduct and the extraction of wealth but also unequal struggles to define value. Long-term ethnographic fieldwork on a low-income housing estate in southern England revealed a ‘suspensory’ approach to debt, in which those who cannot afford to comply with their creditors’ debt repayment demands suspend both the temporal point at which debts will end through repayment or enforcement and the dominant morality of repayment through amoral humour about being a bad debtor. This shows that the form of power asymmetry that debtors experience, if any, hinges on their relation to both the morality and temporality of repayment.

AB - The power asymmetries operating through debt include not only the domination of conduct and the extraction of wealth but also unequal struggles to define value. Long-term ethnographic fieldwork on a low-income housing estate in southern England revealed a ‘suspensory’ approach to debt, in which those who cannot afford to comply with their creditors’ debt repayment demands suspend both the temporal point at which debts will end through repayment or enforcement and the dominant morality of repayment through amoral humour about being a bad debtor. This shows that the form of power asymmetry that debtors experience, if any, hinges on their relation to both the morality and temporality of repayment.

KW - debt

KW - inequality

KW - morality

KW - temporality

KW - joking

KW - value

U2 - 10.1080/03085147.2019.1652985

DO - 10.1080/03085147.2019.1652985

M3 - Article

VL - 48

SP - 532

EP - 553

JO - Economy and Society

JF - Economy and Society

SN - 0308-5147

IS - 4

ER -