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The dynamics of access to the financial system: a study of rural women in the North of England -PhD Thesis-


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The two concepts of exclusion and citizenship are developed and explored within this thesis. Particular consideration is given to the way in which these concepts are discussed in relation to the financial system in modern day Britain and the disparities in access to this system that have recently become a concern for both government and wider society. Drawing from feminist and rural studies, the implications of access to the financial system are considered for rural women, not only as individuals, but also within their household and community contexts. The diverse experiences of this group often remain hidden due to their socio-economic location within the household and popular constructions of the rural idyll.
Using a mixed methodology with a longitudinal ‘dynamic’ approach, the experience of rural women in the North of England were explored in relation to their access to the financial system. The quantitative component consists of secondary analysis of the British Household Panel Survey, investigated by gender and spatial area, over the last decade. The qualitative component involves the collection of biographic and other ethnographic data from women in one Northumberland village regarding how their access to, and use of, the financial system changed over their lives. The thesis then considers how these women and their attendant domestic financial roles take on a more public presence in the wider community and the implications of this for rural community development and community provision of financial services in the village.
The thesis concludes that access to the financial system is structured not just through wealth and location of services as widely held, but also by social and economic practices and relations (past and present) found within the community and the wider locale. This results in different levels of access and financial capabilities within rural households and communities, which often run along gendered lines. This has implications not just for financial exclusion in society and the household but also for citizenship and endogenous rural community development.


Rural Sociology and Finance


not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only


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