'High-cost Credit in an Age of Austerity'
Last week, I was pleased to share my research at an event sponsored by CRASSH (the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) in Cambridge. The topic of the two-day workshop was ‘Austerity and High-cost Credit’ – marrying together a set of related geographical issues through an inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional focus.
My presentation delved into my qualitative research with Christians Against Poverty, a debt advice and advocacy service, in the Valleys of south Wales. In emphasising how all of our personal experiences of debt are also stories of inequality, I portrayed the struggles of one indebted female single parent in the region. Their experience of managing both ‘sexually transmitted debt’ (the debt accrued by a partner that remains attached to an address, even after that partner has left) and the gendered norms of social reproduction (having to not only shoulder the burden of childcare and domestic work, but also deal with the charged emotions that stem from debt) signalled how debt in an age of austerity is an urgent feminist issue.