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Indebted life and money culture : payday lending in the United Kingdom.

Langley, P. and Anderson, B. and Ash, J. and Gordon, R. (2019) 'Indebted life and money culture : payday lending in the United Kingdom.', Economy and society., 48 (1). pp. 30-51.


Critical social scientific research holds that credit–debt is a principal economic and governing relation in contemporary economy and society, but largely neglects money’s role in indebted life. Drawing on qualitative research in the payday loan market in the United Kingdom, the paper shows that borrowers typically relate to loans in monetary rather than financial terms and incorporate them into practices of payment, spending and online banking. To analyse how indebted life is variously experienced and enacted through money, the concept of money culture is developed to refer to money’s culture, money’s meanings and money’s affects. Borrowers enter into and negotiate payday loans through a digitally mediated money culture that both mobilizes and runs counter to money’s powerful fictions as circulating universal equivalent and calculative means of account.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Economy and Society on 22 March 2019 available online:
Date accepted:21 November 2018
Date deposited:23 November 2018
Date of first online publication:22 March 2019
Date first made open access:22 September 2020

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