From The LSE Review of Books
The time is certainly ripe for a better informed debate about fair access to finance in contemporary society, writes Paul Benneworth, in his review of Carl Packman’s Loan Sharks. This book is a persuasive call to the wider social research community to take financial exclusion more seriously, and place it firmly on the agenda of all progressively minded politicians, activists, and scholars.
Carl Packman is a journalist who has undertaken a substantial piece of research into the social problem of payday lending: short-term loans to poor borrowers at very high interest rates.
Loan Sharks is his account of his findings and arguments, and being a journalist he has got the book very quickly into print.
With the wider research effort into social policy now distributed beyond the academic – across local and national government, journalists, think tanks, the judiciary, police forces, and even social enterprises and businesses – any effective social policy scholarship must be able to engage with these researchers. This raises the problem that in these different communities, the ‘rules of the research game’ in terms of evidence and findings may differ substantially from scholarly expectations.
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For more about Carl's book, click here.