Moneylending in Ho Chi Minh City: The Interlocking of Debt and Labour
REGIONAL ECONOMIC STUDIES PROGRAMME WEBINAR
Webinar Series 2020-2021: Financial Transformation, Credit Markets and Household Debt in Southeast Asia
About the Webinar
In today’s world, lenders use efficient and sophisticated ways to control and collateralize borrowers’ labour and wages. These practices have had devastating effects on Western middle classes who have lost wages and savings by taking securitized loans. They also affect financially excluded, disadvantaged and precarious workers in transitional economies who pledge future labour to fund consumption and production. This presentation examines how lenders control borrowers’ labour in an informal and highly volatile labour sector: the sex trade in Ho Chi Minh City. It describes how pimps and managers of entertainment outlets who have a labour relationship with sex workers take control of and extract value from their labour by providing loans that are popular in the money lending market. In contrast, moneylenders who have no labour relationship with sex workers control their labour by threatening their honour and body. By shedding light on the interlocking of debt and labour, this presentation contributes to discussions on the power of debt economies to siphon wages.
More info about the webinar series here.
About the Speaker
Nicolas Lainez is a Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and an Adjunct Assistant professor at the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at NUS in Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and a Masters in Development Studies from Sorbonne University (France). His research is located in the field of economic anthropology and his areas of study include credit and household debt, consumer lending and informal finance, household and care economies, gender and sexuality, migration and trafficking. While at ISEAS, he will research financialization, consumer lending and household debt in Vietnam. His work has been published in American Anthropologist, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Geoforum, Time & Society, The Sociological Review, Culture, Health and Sexuality, and the Journal of Vietnamese Studies.
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