Lived Economies of Default
Consumer Credit, Debt Collection and the Capture of Affect
By Joe Deville
Routledge – 2015 – 224 pages
Consumer credit borrowing – using credit cards, store cards and personal loans – is an important and routine part of many of our lives. But what happens when these everyday forms of borrowing go ‘bad’, when people cannot, or will not, repay? It is this poorly understood, controversial, but central part of both the consumer credit industry and the lived experiences of an increasing number of people that this book explores.
Drawing on research from the interior of the debt collections industry, it examines precisely how this ever more sophisticated, globally connected market functions. It focuses on the highly intimate techniques used to try and recoup defaulting debts from borrowers, as well as on the collection industry’s relationship with lenders. Looking at the issue of consumer credit default from the point of view of the borrower, Joe Deville follows a journey of default, from debtors’ accounts of their borrowing practices, to the intrusion of collections technologies into their homes and everyday lives, to debtors’ attempts to seek outside help.
By opening up for scrutiny an area of the economy which is often hidden from view, this book makes a major contribution to understanding the role of consumer credit in our societies and economies. This book will be of interest to students, teachers and researchers in a range of fields, including sociology, anthropology, economics, and social psychology.
1. Introduction 2. ‘I Shouldn’t Be Allowed Around These Things’: Becoming Attached to Consumer Credit 3. The Everyday Lives of Consumer Credit Collection: Attaching the Defaulting Debtor 4. Calculation Restored? The Possibilities for Consumer Credit Detachment 5. The Global Landscape of Consumer Credit Debt Collection 6. The Collections Agency and the Strategic Management of Affect 7. The Creditor and the Collector: The Strategic Assembly of Collections Markets 8. Conclusion.