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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 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Published (February 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-639-5 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“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 Anthropology Anthropology (General) Sociology
Area: Africa


List of Illustrations
Notes on Transliteration
List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1. Borrowing in the South African Consumer Credit Market
Chapter 2. Raising the Storm of a Free Consumer Credit Market
Chapter 3. The Institutional Framework: Implementing a Consumer Credit Market
Chapter 4. Legislator’s Reactions to the Consumer Credit Market Crisis 2012-2014
Chapter 5. The Model of Rational Action in the South African Consumer Credit Market

Conclusion: The Missed Options of the South African Consumer Credit Market


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