Theories of overindebtedness

Interaction of structure and culture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Consumer bankruptcy scholars typically stress either a structural or a cultural account of individuals' problems with debt. Drawing on the history of poverty research, this article argues that research on consumer overindebtedness and bankruptcy should avoid the pitfall of seeing structural and cultural factors as opposing explanations. Deregulation of the credit industry and an incomplete social safety net are key structural conditions that lead to a culture hospitable to overindebtedness. Furthermore, the interaction of structure and culture has practical policy implications. Structural changes such as interest-rate deregulation inevitably transform both business and consumer culture. Policies designed to create a different consumer culture will have a hard time when pitted against strong structural causes of overindebtedness. At a minimum, efforts to create a culture of personal financial responsibility need a strong structural base, such as public education starting at a young age, and could easily require a generation or more to take hold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTheoretical Inquiries in Law
Volume7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

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indebtedness
interaction
bankruptcy
deregulation
public education
cultural factors
interest rate
structural change
credit
poverty
responsibility
cause
industry
history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

Cite this

Theories of overindebtedness : Interaction of structure and culture. / Braucher, Jean -.

In: Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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