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Credit and Debt in an Unequal Society: Establishing a Consumer Credit Market in South Africa

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Volume 7

The Human Economy

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Credit and Debt in an Unequal Society

Establishing a Consumer Credit Market in South Africa

Jürgen Schraten

212 pages, 19 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-638-8 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (February 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-639-5 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $34.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The book—not an examination of credit and debt, but an account of the contemporary construction of a market—is an important contribution to the study of relationships between credit and debt in an unequal society.” • Africa Today

“I think the book is marvelous, with a fine organization building from meticulous literary scholarship to a broad critique of applying market ideas to the organization of credit.” • Keith Hart, University of Pretoria


South Africa was one of the first countries in the Global South that established a financialized consumer credit market. This market consolidates rather than alleviates the extreme social inequality within a country. This book investigates the political reasons for adopting an allegedly self-regulating market despite its disastrous effects and identifies the colonialist ideas of property rights as a mainstay of the existing social order. The book addresses sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists and legal scholars interested in the interaction of economy and law in contemporary market societies.

Jürgen Schraten is a sociologist at the University of Giessen. Currently he acts as principal investigator of a research project comparing the role of contracts and property in the financialized economies of South Africa, the United States and Germany. His recent publications include ‘Habits of Austerity, Financialization and New Ways of Dealing with Money’, in Keith Hart (ed.), Economy For and Against Democracy, (Berghahn, 2015).

Subject: Political and Economic AnthropologyAnthropology (General)Sociology
Area: Africa


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