Debt for All: Towards a Critical Examination of Organizational Roles in Debt Practices and Financialization.

In Mir R, Willmott H and Greenwood M (eds) The Routledge Companion to Philosophy in Organization Studies, 2016

23 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2015

See all articles by Suhaib Riaz

Suhaib Riaz

University of Massachusetts Boston - College of Management

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

In this chapter, I lay the groundwork for a critical examination of organizations engaged in businesses surrounding debt practices and financialization in contemporary societies. I draw on the literature to discuss that in the business of debt, the winners are likely to be elite borrowers and powerful financial organizations; the losers are likely to be non-elite borrowers who face various constraints as evidenced by their debt profile, have low power compared to financial organizations in the contract and in terms of influencing regulations, are bound by personal responsibility in the face of systemic problems, and suffer the disciplinary effects of debt on their overall life. Building on this background, I argue that contemporary practices of debt have an overall impact on society that is largely in conflict with moral philosophy and I illustrate this with a discussion of Rawlsian philosophy. Furthermore, I critically examine the other side of debt – debt-ownership and its expansion through securitization. I draw on Bourdieu’s idea of “illusio” to argue that the project of financial democracy via financialization as it is currently executed, while supported by the rhetoric of access and opportunity, may actually serve to strengthen the dominant positions of elite actors in society.

Keywords: debt, financialization, economic inequality

JEL Classification: H6, I31, J3, J6, L8

Suggested Citation

Riaz, Suhaib, Debt for All: Towards a Critical Examination of Organizational Roles in Debt Practices and Financialization. (2016). In Mir R, Willmott H and Greenwood M (eds) The Routledge Companion to Philosophy in Organization Studies, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2666297

Suhaib Riaz (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Boston - College of Management ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

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