The role of financial services in individuals’ and communities’ everyday lives is more important than ever. In Devising Consumption: Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit...

The role of financial services in individuals’ and communities’ everyday lives is more important than ever. In Devising Consumption: Cultural Economies of Insurance, Credit and Spending (Routledge, 2014), Liz McFall charts the rise of one particular element of financial services, door-to-door sales, to understand the role of insurance and credit in society. In doing so McFall aims to ‘ventriloquise the lives and consumption practices of the silent poor’, as well as charting a the history of a very neglected element of the story of finance’s role in contemporary life. The book contains a wealth of historical data, alongside a theoretical engagement with the meaning of ‘the device’ within current social theoretical literature. Moreover the book offers reflections on the role and workings of markets and states, both with regard to finance and more broadly to the government of social life. The combination of these perspectives offers an important new lens through which to understand the sociology of consumption and thus, more generally, the social world itself.

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