Warwick Law School News
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Dr Joy Malala awarded Warwick’s Research Development Fund Strategic Award
Congratulations to Dr Joy Malala, Assistant Professor at Warwick Law School who has been awarded Warwick's Research Development Fund (RDF) Strategic Award to support her project titled, ‘Between Life and Debt: Minding the Dignity Gap in the UK Consumer Credit Market’. Dr Malala will be working with Dr Samuel Obeng from the Department of Economics and Dr Beatrice Gobbo from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies on this project.
While credit plays a significant role in helping individuals achieve their visions of a good life, debt is affecting ethnic minorities in disparate ways. Financial struggles can lead to isolation and invisibility in broader social contexts. People with problem debt can often experience feelings of indignity due to the challenging and stressful nature of their financial situation.
This interdisciplinary research project investigates the temporal dynamics of indebtedness which leads many people to live invisible lives. Specifically, it asks in what ways is the burden of debt experienced amongst ethnic minorities in the UK’s consumer credit market by offering a qualitative analysis of their lived experiences. Through data visualisation, the project aims to examine the debt management and relief strategies employed by making visible the voices and narratives of those impacted by debt. It will consider how these communities reject, resist and negotiate the debts they undertake.
Fusing a legal and economic analysis, the impact of this project is to make a case for dignity within financial services that challenges the normative framing of problem debt. This research is topical and timely as it examines the consequences of the ‘cost of living crisis’ and the past decade of austerity that has pushed many within the UK to the margins.
Dr Joy Malala has expressed her enthusiasm, stating:
“I am delighted to have this opportunity as it builds on my work on the meaning of financial inclusion and I am especially delighted to be working with both Dr Samuel Obeng and Dr Beatrice Gobbo".