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  • The Indebted Women: Microcredit and the Credit Card

    Micky Lee

    Chapter from the book: Lee, M. 2019. Bubbles and Machines: Gender, Information and Financial Crises.


    This chapter looks at how credits are extended to women in both developing and developed economies. The author argues that the separate discursive worlds occupied by the Poor Women and the Shopaholic have to be understood in the context of stagflation since the 1970s. While capital circulation needs spatiotemporal differentiation, gender is used to bridge the gap. Being in debt is one tactic to narrow the gap so that women can catch up with men and developing economies can catch up with developed economies. Both an ‘Economy’ and Poor Women have to be invented (or performed) for microcredit programmes to succeed. By engaging in these programmes, Poor Women are asked to behave like rational beings in the ‘Economy’. In contrast, the gendered subject the Shopaholic is seen as a medical patient who needs the expertise of the ‘Expert’. Ironically, chick lit/chick flicks allow women to talk back at mainstream economic thought self-reflexively so that they challenge the assumption that money is abstract and monolithic. Self-reflexivity in chick lit and DIY videos of Poor Women attract attention from male authority which then questions their understanding of financial crises and accuses women of deception. The criticism once again reinforces the feminine, elusive nature of financial crises.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Lee, M. 2019. The Indebted Women: Microcredit and the Credit Card. In: Lee, M, Bubbles and Machines. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book34.c

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on May 23, 2019