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Driven to debt: social reproduction and (auto)mobility in Los Angeles

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jane Pollard



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Since the financial crisis of 2008, subprime lending in the United States has flourished in auto loan markets. This article charts, for the first time, some of the contours of this under-researched part of the subprime landscape. In so doing, it makes two contributions. First, it widens and re-situates debates about subprime lending by building on a suite of feminist political economic scholarship to argue that the sites, practices and agents of social reproduction provide an essential – and largely neglected – perspective on the endurance and deepening of subprime markets. Second, the article leverages the intrinsically geographical, place-bound nature of social reproduction to provide a more holistic treatment of the financialization of everyday life. The article uses (auto)mobility as a novel vantage point from which to connect hitherto disparate social science literatures on financialization, transportation planning, welfare, and urban form. Drawing on secondary data and qualitative fieldwork in Los Angeles, the research explores the proliferation of subprime auto lending and the gendered, raced and classed inequalities in mobility that mediate everyday life - the daily commute, the school run, the grocery shopping trip – and the demand for subprime debt.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pollard JS, Blumenberg E, Brumbaugh S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of the Association of American Geography

Year: 2021

Volume: 111

Issue: 5

Pages: 1445-1461

Online publication date: 12/11/2020

Acceptance date: 20/06/2020

Date deposited: 09/07/2020

ISSN (print): 2469-4452

ISSN (electronic): 2469-4460

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2020.1813541


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