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  • Brookes and Harvey - Just plain Wronga

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Critical Discourse Studies on 15/11/2016, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17405904.2016.1250651

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    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Just plain Wronga?: a multimodal critical analysis of online payday loan discourse

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Critical Discourse Studies
Issue number2
Volume14
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)167-187
Publication statusPublished
Early online date15/11/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Payday loans constitute one of the most rapidly expanding and controversial forms of consumer lending today. Payday lending – the selling of high-interest, short-term credit – has thrived following the decline of the traditional high street banking system and the reluctance of many mainstream credit services, following the 2007/2008 Global Financial Crisis, to lend to low-income earners. This study examines the website of the industry leader in the UK, Wonga, a payday lender which recently rebranded and relaunched itself (in 2015) after being embroiled in a series of financial scandals. Our analysis centres on the new Wonga website, the gateway to its financial services, and identifies three inter-related discursive strategies through which the lender, in the wake of its financial misconduct, seeks to present itself as a reputable financial service provider, namely by (1) constructing the empowered and responsible borrower, (2) destigmatising both its service provision and its prospective customers, the payday borrower, and (3) minimising the consequences and risks associated with payday borrowing. Collectively, these strategies constitute an artful response by Wonga to the changing legislative and socioeconomic contexts in which it and other payday lenders now operate, permitting it to continue marketing and selling its high-interest rate financial services.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Critical Discourse Studies on 15/11/2016, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17405904.2016.1250651