Hardcover ISBN: 9781503636316
Paperback ISBN: 9781503636903
Poor women have become essential cogs in the wheel of financialized capitalism. Globally, it is most often women who manage household debt to make ends meet, and that debt has exploded over the last decade, reaching an all-time high after the COVID-19 pandemic. Across various categories of loans, including subprime lending, microcredit policies, and consumer loans, as well as rent and utilities, women are overrepresented as clients and managers, and are being enfolded into the system.The Indebted Woman discusses the crucial yet invisible roles poor women play in making and consolidating debt and credit markets. Isabelle Guérin, Santosh Kumar, and G. Venkatasubramanian spent over two decades observing a credit market that specifically targets women in the Indian countryside of east-central Tamil Nadu. They found that paying off debts required labor, frequently involved sexual transactions, and shaped women's bodies and subjectivities. Bringing together ethnography, statistical surveys, and financial diaries, they offer for the first time a comprehensive theory for this sexual division of debt that goes far beyond the Indian case, exposing the ways capitalism transforms womanhood, and how this transformation in turn fuels capitalism.
About the authors
Isabelle Guérin is Senior Research Fellow at the French Institute of Research for Sustainable Development, and Associate at the French Institute of Pondicherry.
G. Venkatasubramanian has been a sociologist and Research Fellow at the French Institute of Pondicherry for the past 35 years.
Santosh Kumar has been collaborating with researchers at the French Institute of Pondicherry for 25 years.