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Making Poverty Pay: Digital Creditors, Gentrifying Landlords & Financial Capitalism Today
The Rogers Chair at Western University & Big Data at the Margins are pleased to present:

Making Poverty Pay: Digital Creditors, Gentrifying Landlords & Financial Capitalism Today
14 April 2021, 7PM

(Due to a Covid-19 related illness, this event, originally scheduled for 10th of March, will be postponed until the 14th of April. We hope you'll join us in April!)

How is finance capitalism today “making poverty pay”?

For several years now, corporations and governments have been developing systems for accessing and capturing the details of impoverished people’s everyday lives, and for extracting profit out of their day-to-day activities.

The research of Rob Aitken into “alternative credit scoring” examines a cluster of new practices designed to make visible—and extract value from—those people whose economic activity is too marginal to count for the purpose of the formal credit scores that would enable them to buy a car or a house. Susanne Soederberg’s comparative study of the privatization of social housing in European cities reveals how public housing agencies and private landlords subject impoverished people to exploitation, eviction, and erasure, fueling gentrification in cities like Berlin and Dublin.

The work of these two Canadian researchers outlines how impoverished people in North America and Europe are increasingly subject to a “dialectic of visibility and erasure”—made visible so that they can be squeezed for interest on loans and shuffled through social housing and emergency shelters, and erased so that they don’t show up in policy debates or on the streets of gentrifying urban districts.

This event is generously sponsored by the Rogers Chair in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University.

Apr 14, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Rob Aitken
Rob Aitken is Associate Professor at the University of Alberta’s Department of Political Science. He has published articles in such journals as Security Dialogue, Competition and Change, and Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs. His current research interests are International Political Economy, Critical International Relations and Security, Governmentality and Cultural Economy.
Susanne Soederberg
Susanne Soederberg is a Professor, who is jointly appointed to the Department of Political Studies and Department of Global Development Studies. Dr. Soederberg earned her doctorate from Johann-Wolfgang Goethe Frankfurt University in Germany. Prior to her appointment at Queen’s in 2004, Professor Soederberg held a tenure-track appointment in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Dr Soederberg has been awarded the prestigious Jane and Aatos Erkko Visiting Professorship in Studies of Contemporary Society (2015-2016) at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies where she is undertaking research on the linkages between low-income housing, finance and social reproduction in Berlin and Dublin.