Social reproduction, finance and the gendered dimensions of pawnbroking

Adrienne Roberts, Ghazal Zulfiqar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the feminist literature on social reproduction is broad and diverse, one area that has remained relatively under-explored relates to the linkages between social reproduction and finance, particularly between social reproduction and household debt. In our contribution to this Special Issue, we seek to document and to analyse the structural linkages between social reproduction and debt, with a specific focus on pawnbroking in early modern England and contemporary Pakistan. We have four main aims in this article. Our first aim is to contribute to feminist theorizing about social reproduction by showing both how the daily and generational reproduction of households has relied upon historically specific forms of credit and how these social relations of credit/debt have been central to the development and reproduction of capitalism in different times and places. Second, we show how particular forms of ‘everyday finance’ are gendered and, specifically, how they are feminized. Our third aim is to elucidate the relationship between pawn loans, which have received almost no attention from feminist or other critical political economists, and the social reproduction of households in England and Pakistan. Fourth, we elucidate some of the gendered implications of the growing incursion of masculinized capitalist finance into new spaces of everyday life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-597
Number of pages17
JournalCapital And Class
Issue number4
Early online date4 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • debt
  • finance
  • gender
  • pawnbroking
  • social reproduction


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