Mortgage markets and cultures of consumption



Publication Details

Cook, N., Smith, S. J. & Searle, B. A. (2009). Mortgage markets and cultures of consumption. Consumption, Markets and Culture, 12 (2), 133-154.


Although consumption studies now dominate large areas of social and cultural research, relatively little attention has been paid to the consumption of financial products and services. However, the consumption of mortgages moved to centre‐stage in the early twenty‐first century, as products that were once tightly rationed were more actively sold, and households were faced with an unprecedented array of borrowing options. Drawing from qualitative telephone interviews with a cross‐section of 150 UK home‐buyers, this paper explores the way households in a credit‐rich setting choose and use their mortgages. We argue that, notwithstanding the risks commonly and rightly associated with the financialization of domestic space, mainstream borrowers are often "at home" with their mortgage: they can generally navigate the mortgage maze and put their mortgage to work.

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