Regenerating Market Attachments

Deville, Joe. 2012. Regenerating Market Attachments. Journal of Cultural Economy, 5(4), pp. 423-439. ISSN 1753-0350 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Drawing together insights from key figures in the collections industry and observation at one of the UK's largest debt purchasers, this paper opens up the socio-material mechanisms of ‘market attachment’ through which, drawing on Franck Cochoy, the potential ‘captation’ of the defaulting consumer credit debtor occurs. It begins by setting out the analytical deficits in the contemporary analysis of consumer debt collection practices, before tracing the industry's responses to the particular problematic of consumer collections. It focuses on the role played by the ‘capture of affect’ in collections processes, building on existing work exploring socio-economic objects that may be described as ‘non-representational’. A richer understanding of the relationship between markets and the body is thus brought to Actor-Network Theory influenced studies of processes of ‘economization’. It follows the debtor's progress along collections ‘trajectories’, exploring different not necessarily compatible modes of captation being deployed by collectors attempting to enact defaulters as repayers, ranging from the quasi-therapeutic to the disciplinary. It concludes by examining the increasing role for performative forms of in vitro and in vivo experimentation being deployed in the collections process, through the use of econometric modelling techniques. Both the debtors' pasts and their actions as they move through the present are shown to provide the empirical grounding for a process of repeated affective ‘testing’, aimed at discovering – and profiting from – minute variations in debtor dispositions.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]



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Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2015 10:52

Last Modified:

16 Dec 2016 17:18

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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