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Credit, Debt, and Everyday Financial Practices: Low-Income Households in Two Postsocialist Cities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alison Stenning, Dariusz Swiatek


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In recent years, increasing attention has been paid within social and economic geography to questions of finance, particularly to the ways in which individuals and households domesticate developing financial institutions and products. However, there have been few analyses of these practices in the study of the postsocialist world, even though in many ways, postsocialist societies have been at the forefront of the extension of financial products and services and the ensuing remaking of economic practices. This article responds to this lacuna by exploring the experiences of everyday household financial practices in two postsocialist cities-Krakow and Bratislava-in an attempt to understand how households, particularly poor households, negotiate the remaking of financial practices as the wider landscapes of banking and access to financial services are remade. In the context of a wider project that also explores consumption, housing, care work, and other forms of labor, the article connects to ongoing work in economic geography to explore how postsocialist households manage their precarious budgets, engaging in a multiplicity of practices of lending and borrowing and credit and debt that combine the old and the new, the formal and the informal, the global and the local. These articulations reflect the ways in which households domesticate finance, such that their financial practices are a result of a combination of their agency, assets, knowledge, and geographies; their socioeconomic status; and the developing structures of financial institutions and support a conclusion that calls into question singular accounts of neoliberalization in East Central Europe.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stenning A, Smith A, Rochovská A, Świątek D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Economic Geography

Year: 2010

Volume: 86

Issue: 2

Pages: 119-145

Print publication date: 01/04/2010

Date deposited: 17/05/2010

ISSN (print): 0013-0095

ISSN (electronic): 1944-8287

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1944-8287.2009.01066.x


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