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A Debtor WorldInterdisciplinary Perspectives on Debt$
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Ralph Brubaker, Robert M. Lawless, and Charles J. Tabb

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199873722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199873722.001.0001

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Debt and the Simulation of Social Class

Debt and the Simulation of Social Class

(p.36) 2 Debt and the Simulation of Social Class
A Debtor World

Teresa A. Sullivan

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the social institutions that create an indebted world. It argues that credit and debt have become important, if rarely analyzed, covariates of social stratification. The chapter is organized as follows. It begins by discussing stratification in more detail. Then it turns to the conventional measurement of social class, and discusses how debt and credit might blur or disrupt conventional understanding of social class. Finally, it discusses the potential ramifications of blurry class boundaries for American society and for sociology.

Keywords:   social institutions, debt, credit, social stratification, class boundaries, American society

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