A Review for – It’s in the Cards: Consumer Credit and the American Experience

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This is the first comprehensive account of the development of consumer credit. Consumer credit is a vital force driving the development of our economic system. Rather than look at consumer credit solely as an economic phenomenon, Klein examines the social impact of the consumer credit industry within the framework of economic and cultural change. His analysis offers a concise examination of the industry from the perspective of marketing, the creating of material and experiential products, and the product distribution mechanisms. The discussion of changes within the bankruptcy structure accounts for the creation of overzealous consumer spending and the implementation of controls over individual consumer credit. This will be of interest to scholars or students concentrating in economic sociology, stratification, and cultural studies.


The world of consumer credit offers many cultural and real financial implications. Credit cards, their marketing, social significance, and consumer utilization are areas not usually covered in both social and economic contexts. This book offers a view that credit is a part of everyday life. In addition, analysis offered in this study portrays consumer credit as both a positive and negative force in our society. The analysis of historical development, marketing, cultural values and facilitation of consumer spending would suffice as an adequate analysis. But the view of the credit card industry as dependent upon issuing more plastic after consumer bankruptcy is important. We get the idea that credit cards are facilitators for middle class lifestyles and continuance of the economic system. This book clearly builds upon the early assumptions and gives us a wider view of the socio-economic playing field related to the influence of credit card utilization.

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