Cemore’s visiting PhD student, Benjamin Schwarz presents his PhD project, exploring the narratives of struggling with debt in Denmark on Tuesday 11th June 2019 from 1-3pm in Bowland North Seminar Room 12.

“I am interested in how problem debt – meaning debt problematised by institutions – shapes the lives of people. I am inspired by the social scientific literature that is investigating the recent structural shift from an industrial to a financialised economy and how this shift is felt on a micro social-cultural level as a massive expansion of financial products, including credit/debt. Centrering on the governance as an economic and moral “responsibilisation” of debtors, the lived experiences of debtors are often inferred rather than elucidated. Additionally, the literature has chiefly focused on the USA and the UK, presumed to be financialised economies par excellence. In response to this, this project draws on methods and theories able to unfold the everyday experiences of debt gone bad in Denmark and how these people try to make sense and meaning out of their narratives of ‘unworthiness’.

In this brief presentation, I will discuss my entry point to the field and why I see Denmark and its supposedly perfect welfare state as a fascinating site for exploring financialisation. After that I will discuss my overall theoretical framework of French Pragmatic Sociology, my methodology and methods, building narratives from interviews with and observations of debtors, the analytical design composed of the institutional trajectories of debtors as well as my main findings.”

Please register your attendance by emailing Emily at cemore@lancaster.ac.uk.

We look forward to seeing you there!