Pg Haji Hassan, Dk Noor Hasharina Binti
Everyday finances and consumption in Brunei Darussalam.
University of Southampton, Geography,
After the financial global crisis in 2008, there has been a growing interest in studying financialisation in economic geography mainly in Anglo-American societies. Most attempts in understanding finance in Geography focus on macro level finance culture i.e. examining financial structures and institutions. With financial iberalisation, financial institutions play a significant role in influencing the financial markets in Anglo-America while government interference has been declining. Social scientists such as Langley (2008) and Lee et al. (2009) identified a dearth of literature in economic geography that focuses on everyday personal finances of consumers and relate consumers’ borrowing culture to their consumption patterns which are shaped by social intermediaries including governments, family and traditions. This thesis fills this gap in contemporary areas in economic geography. The aim of the thesis is to examine the development of personal finances and consumption in Brunei Darussalam. Brunei makes a relevant case study due to its distinctive evolving personal finance and consumption culture where the government plays a significant role through the monitoring and regulating of financial institutions. Regulating Brunei’s financial structure was a pro-active action taken by the government to address problems of Bruneians’ dependency on borrowing to consume rather than as a reaction to the global financial crisis. Moreover, this study shows how individual choices and actions as well as traditional cultural intermediaries (du Gay et al., 1997) particularly the family and traditions shape Bruneians’ financial access and consumption culture. My thesis demonstrates that financialisation and consumption culture are not homogenised across different geographies, thus stresses the importance of acknowledging and need to consider social and cultural practices of consumers and governments in order to understand the financial and consumption culture and development of different societies.By employing mixed methods in particular qualitative research methods, this thesis also presents empirical evidence of the transformation in financial culture and identifies functions and motivators of consumption that affect consumers’ everyday finances in Brunei which are different from other geographies including Anglo- America
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