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

Brookes, Gavin and Harvey, Kevin (2017) Just plain Wronga? : a multimodal critical analysis of online payday loan discourse. Critical Discourse Studies, 14 (2). pp. 167-187. ISSN 1740-5904

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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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Critical Discourse Studies
Additional Information:
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
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? borrowingwongamultimodalitymultimodal critical discourse analysisonline advertisingthe fringe economysocial sciences(all) ??
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Deposited On:
12 Jul 2018 09:50
Last Modified:
07 Nov 2023 23:38