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The financialization of help: moneylenders as economic translators in the debt-based economy

Waters, HA; (2018) The financialization of help: moneylenders as economic translators in the debt-based economy. Central Asian Survey , 37 (3) pp. 403-418. 10.1080/02634937.2018.1442317. Green open access

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Abstract

Considering that debt has become a pervasive feature of contemporary life in Mongolia, this article calls for a nuanced examination of the diversity of current debt relations as evinced through its multiple moral interpretations and social effects. Through case studies of moneylenders in contemporary Dornod Province, I discuss (1) how local actors perceive multiple moralities and types of debt (e.g. formal and informal/kinship); (2) how moneylenders comprise an occupational role as ‘translators’ between these different registers; and thus (3) how they allow local debtor actors to navigate their debt load by moving money between the varying registers. By mobilizing local forms of social value, moneylenders create financial value that supports and enables bank debt. As a result, the moralities and logics of finance have increasingly pervaded aspects of local social relations in the collateralization of social standing and the designation of interest payment as a form of community assistance.

Type: Article
Title: The financialization of help: moneylenders as economic translators in the debt-based economy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02634937.2018.1442317
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2018.1442317
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Economic anthropology, financialization, moneylending, usury, debt, Mongolia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10074099
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