A Feminist Reading of Debt
Women's lives are burdened by the weight of debt. But collectively, it can be resisted
***Winner of an English PEN Award 2021***
In this sharp intervention, authors Lucí Cavallero and Verónica Gago defiantly develop a feminist understanding of debt, showing its impact on women and members of the LGBTQ+ community and examining the relationship between debt and social reproduction.
Exploring the link between financial activity and the rise of conservative forces in Latin America, the book demonstrates that debt is intimately linked to gendered violence and patriarchal notions of the family. Yet, rather than seeing these forces as insurmountable, the authors also show ways in which debt can be resisted, drawing on concrete experiences and practices from Latin America and around the world.
Featuring interviews with women in Argentina and Brazil, the book reveals the real-life impact of debt and how it falls mainly on the shoulders of women, from the household to the wider effects of national debt and austerity. However, through discussions around experiences of work, prisons, domestic labour, agriculture, family, abortion and housing, a narrative of resistance emerges.
Translated by Liz Mason-Deese.
Lucí Cavallero is a researcher at the University of Buenos Aires. Her work focuses on the link between debt, illegal capital, and different forms of violence. She is a feminist activist and member of the Ni Una Menos Collective.
Verónica Gago teaches Political Science at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and is a Professor of Sociology at the Instituto de Altos Estudios, Universidad Nacional de San Martin. She is the author of Feminist International (Verso, 2020) and Neoliberalism from Below: Popular Pragmatics and Baroque Economies (Duke University Press, 2017). She is a feminist activist and member of the Ni Una Menos Collective.
'An exciting, novel feminist book on the financialisation of life. It rescues debates on debt from abstraction and provides a key cartography of oppression. A great read, opening new avenues for social reproduction analyses and feminist struggles'- Alessandra Mezzadri, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at SOAS, and author of 'The Sweatshop Regime' (CUP, 2017) and editor of 'Marx in the Field' (Anthem, 2021)
'This book is of great value to those interested in the financialisation of everyday life and social reproduction - essential reading for those studying and involved in building feminist movements in Latin America and beyond'- ‘LSE Review of Books’
Foreword by Tithi Bhattacharya
Introduction: Taking Debt Out of the Closet
1. Diagnosing Forms of Violence
2. Exploitation and Difference
3. A Feminist Reading of Debt
4. Debt and Social Reproduction
5. Financial Extractivism and Dispossession
6. What is Debt?
7. New Era: Financial Terror
8. Debt as a “Counter-revolution” of Everyday Life
9. The Writing on the Body of Women
10. Neither Victims nor Entrepreneurs
11. Feminist Insubordination and Fascist Neoliberalism
13. Gentlemen’s Agreement
14. The Patriarchy Has My Missing Contributions
15. Debt and Urban Development in the City of Buenos Aires
16. From Finance to Bodies
17. Voluntary Termination of Debt
18. Hunger and Gender Mandates
19. The Debt of Care
20. A Feminist Analysis of Inflation
21. How to Disobey Finance?
22. We Want Ourselves Alive and Debt Free!
23. Us Against Debt
24. “They Owe Us a Life”
25. A Feminist Strike Against Debt: 2020
26. Excursus. Rosa Luxemburg: In the Lands of Debt and
28. Some Milestones of a Brief Chronology
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745341712
eBook ISBN: 9781786808479
135mm x 215mm