GREG YUDIN. Political functions of mass credit in Russia

  • Photo: S. Pronin
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11.02.2021 - 17:00
Discussion in the framework of online discussions series about housing policy and new forms of (co)existence 'GET REAL!'

Moderated by Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits / TOK

The discussion will be held in Russian 

February 11, 2021
19.00 (Moscow time)/17.00 (CET) 


Consumer credit and mortgages have emerged as pivot institutions affecting lives of vast majority of Russians. For many of them consumer loan appears to be the only available strategy for upward mobility and therefore considerably impacts individual and family strategies. This makes credit the foundation of political power and dependence in Russia. Credit limits and structures collective action and radically reshapes the nexus of relationship between individual and community. Drawing on the findings of an ethnographic study, sociologist Greg Yudin will point out three political premises and effects of the current spread of consumer credit in Russia. First, credit relies on social atomization and reproduces it. Second, inequality creates incentives for taking loan, which, in turn increases inequality. Third, responsibilzation of the debtor contributes to strengthening neoliberal ideology. Yudin will also make a political relevant distinction between the effects of mortgages and other forms of consumer credit.

GREG YUDIN is a Professor of Political Philosophy at Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, and Senior Researcher at Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology at Higher School of Economics, Moscow. His book Public Opinion: The Power of Numbers was published in Russian by The European University Press in 2020.


He also studies political and economic anthropology with the special emphasis on gift, debt, and credit. In 2020, he published an edited volume Living in Debt: The Moral Economy of Debt and Credit in Russian communities. 

The event takes place as a part of the program “Get Real!”, a series of online discussions about housing policy and new forms of (co)existence curated by TOK in December 2020 -  June 2021 as a part of 5 season of its ongoing project “Critical Mass”. New season focuses on the emerging and complex issues of housing, real estate, urban development, contemporary and historical housing conditions in post-socialist and neoliberal contexts as well as pressing socio-political and environmental processes in megacities.