Tag Archives: Market Devices

Where do groovy markets come from? A conversation with Liz McFall

Liz McFall (Head of the Department of Sociology at the Open University, one of the editors of the Journal of Cultural Economy and site manager of Charisma-Market Studies) has been crafting a very distinctive approach, in the context of recent SSF, to finance. She doesn’t write about esoteric derivatives but about domestic financial goods such as insurance and consumer lending. Most of her research is based on historical data, not on interviews or participant observation, and her conceptual interest is not calculation, rankings or formulae but charisma. In this conversation, carried out last May in Copenhagen, I use McFall’s last book Devising Consumption. Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending as an excuse to make her expand on some of the characteristic features of her work.

Q1. Devising Consumption has five main chapters, accordingly have I prepared five questions, although, and I am sorry for that, my questions neither follow the order of the book nor do they necessarily correspond to particular chapters. Continue reading

“My Story Has No Strings Attached”: Credit Cards, Market Devices, and a Stone Guest

[Los amigos del Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion- UC Irvine publicaron como documento de trabajo, la versión actual de un experimento sobre deudas y tarjetas de crédito en Chile del que ya hemos discutido acá]

My Story Has No Strings Attached”: Credit Cards, Market Devices, and a Stone Guest. José Ossandón

Abstract

In the retail industry, consumer credit is sometimes seen as a dangerous parasite that can become bigger than its host. Credit cards are marketing devices that aim at easing the attachment between consumers and goods. Credit cards are also value meters that trace every single transaction. Credit cards can even be “gardening” tools. Sowing is the name used in Chile’s retail industry to call the data management strategy that consists of extending the credit limit of low income customers depending on their payment behavior. Data on previous transactions and behavior replaces collateral. Credit cards are not only used by the persons whose names are on the cards; People borrow and loan their cards, or, more precisely, their cards’ credit limits. Credit cards do not trace behavior but hidden networks. Can social relations act as parasites on credit – uninvited guests whose host is already a parasite? This article tells the story of a study that started in the middle – credit cards – and slowly became a Serresian economic anthropology. Continue reading