Credit and Community: Working-Class Debt in the UK since 1880 by Sean OConnellCredit and Community: Working-Class Debt in the UK since 1880 by Sean OConnell

Credit and Community: Working-Class Debt in the UK since 1880

bySean OConnell

Hardcover | January 22, 2009

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Credit and Community examines the history of consumer credit and debt in working class communities. Concentrating on forms of credit that were traditionally very dependent on personal relationships and social networks, such as mail-order catalogues and co-operatives, it demonstrates howcommunity-based arrangements declined as more impersonal forms of borrowing emerged during the twentieth century.Tallymen and check traders moved into doorstep moneylending during the 1960s, but in subsequent decades the loss of their best working class customers, owing to increased spending power and the emergence of a broader range of credit alternatives, forced them to focus on the 'financially excluded'.This 'sub-prime' market was open for exploitation by unlicensed lenders, and Sean O'Connell offers the first detailed historical investigation of illegal moneylending in the UK, encompassing the 'she usurers' of Edwardian Liverpool and the violent loan sharks of Blair's Britain.O'Connell contrasts such commercial forms of credit with formal and informal co-operative alternatives, such as 'diddlum clubs', 'partners', and mutuality clubs. He provides the first history of the UK credit unions, revealing the importance of Irish and Caribbean immigrant volunteers, and explainsthe relative failure of the movement compared with Ireland. Drawing on a wide range of neglected sources, including the archives of consumer credit companies, the records of the co-operative and credit union movements, and government papers, Credit and Comminity makes a strong contribution to historical understandings of credit and debt. Oral historytestimony from both sides of the credit divide is used to telling effect, offering key insights into the complex nature of the relationship between borrowers and lenders.
Sean O'Connell first monograph - The car in British society: class, gender and motoring (Manchester University Press, 1998) was part of the shift in British social and cultural history away from the study of production towards the analysis of consumption and consumers. His more recent projects have continued this interest. Amongst top...
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Title:Credit and Community: Working-Class Debt in the UK since 1880Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pagesPublished:January 22, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199263310

ISBN - 13:9780199263318

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Table of Contents

Introduction. On easy terms? Borrowing and lending in the working class community1. Credit on the doorstep: the tallymen2. The rise of the Provident system: check trading3. Retail capitalism in the parlour: mail order catalogues4. The moneylender unmasked5. Doorstep moneylending since the 1950s6. Formal and informal co-operative credit7. Renewed hope for mutuality: credit unionsConclusion. Easy terms remain elusive