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Theses

Des loan sharks aux banques : croisades, construction et segmentation d'un marché du crédit aux États-Unis, 1900-1945

Abstract : The segmentation of the American credit market, between a primary banking market and a secondary “fringe” market, characterized by high-rate services offered by agencies ranging from payday lenders to subprime mortgage dealers, is often mentioned, particularly as it would mirror that of the labor market, and yet very few studies are dedicated to understanding its origins. This thesis offers such a perspective through the history small unsecured loans to wage-earners from 1900 until 1945. First, we study the emergence of credit systems at the beginning of the XXth century which enabled lower-class workers to borrow using future wages or small property as collateral. Through two case studies focusing on the South and the Midwest, we set forth a new, intersectional approach to the credit relationship and analyze the forms of embeddedness of these exchanges; judiciary, racial and in the labor process. Second, we analyze the moral and political construction of a legitimate “business”, through the study of the “crusades” and controversies targeting “loan sharks”, a certain class of creditors associated with usurious practices operating on the margin of industrial capitalism. This work in economic sociology contributes to the study of market moralization processes, bringing in insights from the sociology of public action, social movements and law in order to understand how the resolution of a public problem as well as the frames on which political and legal actions dwell can impact the market structure. Our theoretical framework bridges the gap between the sociological study of economic transactions and practices and the political-cultural approach of markets as politics.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 11:56:22 AM
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Simon Bittmann. Des loan sharks aux banques : croisades, construction et segmentation d'un marché du crédit aux États-Unis, 1900-1945. Sociologie. Sciences Po - Institut d'études politiques de Paris, 2018. Français. ⟨tel-01915019⟩

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