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"Awaiting Absolution –: Self-Presentations in Letters of Application for Debt Reconstruction"
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (NORMKRITISKA)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5967-0795
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (NORMKRITISKA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2752-4088
(English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

The article investigates how over-indebted persons present their case in the personal letters attached to debt-reconstruction applications and how their narratives can be argued to have features that can help counteract negative expectations about their identity. The results reveal three types of narratives. These are: negotiating, in which the applicant communicates personal agency in relation to all areas of life, and the promise to start a new life and continue on the path of improvement is invoked as the main reason for being deserving of help; reimbursement-claiming, in which personal agency is communicated in relation to all aspects except for the applicant’s personal economy, and earlier achievements are invoked as the main reason for being deserving of help; and confessing, in which personal agency is communicated as located outside the applicant’s control, and a lack of possibilities to manage one’s own personal economy is invoked as the main reason for being deserving of help. The results also show that, although all three narrative categories can be considered as counter-stories, confessing can be argued to have the greatest potential to counteract negative expectations and thereby to help to repair the applicant’s identity.

Keywords [en]
narrative repair; counter stories; over-indebtedness
National Category
Social Sciences Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-47417DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2020.1746388OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-47417DiVA, id: diva2:1416374
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2018-00566Available from: 2020-03-23 Created: 2020-03-23 Last updated: 2020-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Liedgren, PernillaKullberg, Christian

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