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Financialised welfare and its vulnerabilities: advice, consumer credit, and church-based charity

Davey, Ryan (2019) Financialised welfare and its vulnerabilities: advice, consumer credit, and church-based charity. Ethnos. ISSN 0014-1844 (In Press)

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00141844.2019.1687545


Debt advice, as a neoliberal variant of social welfare in the UK, highlights the introduction and repercussions of approaches to welfare that encourage, and/or rely on, financial speculation. Since the 1990s, senior managers in the debt advice sector have anticipated funding cuts by advocating co-operation with the financial industry, implying a financialised concept of social welfare that valorises the redistribution of opportunities to speculate, rather than that of wealth. Yet following cuts, ‘front-line’ debt advisers complain they are unable to provide the required level of care and compassion, leading to an increase in church-based, volunteer-run debt advice, aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable. Rather than some pre-determined political modality, the ethical concepts of welfare that caught on, and the moral qualities consequently ascribed to its beneficiaries, emerged at the interface of managers’ assessments of the viability of particular funding models with the political-economic conditions in which those models were implemented.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author(s)
Divisions: Anthropology
Ethnography of Advice
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2019 15:51
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2020 00:21

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