Loans, Debts, and “Values” in a Pawnshop

Rádl Michael


The author describes circumstances and conditions of the pawnshop
loan on the basis of his field research at a bazaar-pawnshop. In particular,
he focuses on the process of determining the value of the pawned
collateral. Moreover, the paper also discusses the ambiguity of the notion
of “value”, which can be of an economic, but also of a symbolic nature. He
also shows the other consequences and contexts that may be derived from the
relationship of the customer and the pawnbroker. Furthermore, the paper
focuses on the question of who and why uses the pawnshop to get cash, and
concludes with the key points of a gradual process that leads some customers
to incorporate small (yet practically permanent) pawnshop debt into
their life. In this case, the constantly renewed debt has ultimately become
part of their usual economic thinking and almost quotidian standard. This
eventually leads to the fact that these customers gradually integrate the
pawnshop into their way of life, and start to consider it as an integral part
of everydayness.


pawnshop; debt; loan; poverty; unemployment; Czech society

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Vydání: 19, 2017, 3