The Bankers of the Backlands: Financialisation and the Calon-Gypsies in Bahia.

Fotta, Martin. 2012. The Bankers of the Backlands: Financialisation and the Calon-Gypsies in Bahia.. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Doctoral thesis)
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Abstract or Description

In recent decades, a population of Gypsies, Ciganos, living in Bahia, who call themselves Calon, have been specializing in lending money on interest. The thesis argues that the development of Cigano money-lending niche is a Calon assimilation of recent changes brought about by monetization of daily life transforming the Bahian tradition of seeing them as trickster-figures. Several recent developments have increased demand for cash in the Bahian interior and small-town life is now characterized by a dense financial net of various credit/debt forms – formal and informal, novel and traditional. In this context Ciganos-as-moneylenders are one of many existing credit institutions. Going beyond the “demand side”, the thesis explores Calon concepts and social organization of credit. It argues that money in money-lending serves both as a medium of exchange, and as a way to create an environment for Calon social reproduction. Through manipulating pragmatics of credit/debt Calon forge themselves as moral persons and create proper sociality.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)


financialisation; Bahia; Brazil; Gypsies; Calon; moneylending; nomadism; economic anthropology; credit/debt; masculinity; kinship; money; exchange

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Date Deposited:

25 Mar 2013 15:23

Last Modified:

18 Oct 2022 12:42


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