“Thought-provoking, engaging, insightful, thoroughly researched and theoretically nuanced.”
(Deborah R. Altamirano Times Higher Education
“Brimming with insights and textures. . . . Han brilliantly, often quite beautifully, fleshes out the intersections between the existential and the economic.”
(Larisa Jasarevic Somatosphere
"In this moving ethnography, Clara Han delivers a devastating and thought-provoking portrait of urban poverty in contemporary Chile."
From the Inside Flap
Life in Debt will become, I predict, one of the classic ethnographies in the anthropological study of state violence, community responses, and the moral life of the global poor. Relating economic and political debt, financial and psychological depression, and caregiving by ordinary people and by social institutions, Clara Han maps our brave new world just about as illuminatingly as it has been done. A remarkable achievement.” -Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University
In this highly sophisticated take on the ironies of neoliberal social reforms, the corporate sector, consumer culture, and chronic underemployment, nothing can be read literally. Han transforms underclass urban ethnography in Latin America by bringing readers directly into the intimate flow of relationships, experiences, and emotions in family life on the margins of Santiago, Chile." -Kay Warren, Director, Pembroke Center, Brown University.
"People-centered, movingly written, and analytically probing, Life in Debt deals with both the human costs and the changing structures of power driven by contemporary dynamics of neoliberalism. Combining a deep and nuanced understanding of Chile's history with a longitudinal and heart-wrenching field-based knowledge of the everyday travails of the urban poor, Clara Han has crafted an exceptional analysis of human transformations in the face of political violence and economic insecurity." -João Biehl, author of Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment
"During ten years, Clara Han has gathered fragments of biographies and moments of lives to recreate the experience of Chileans after Pinochet’s dictatorship. Her vivid ethnography plunges into the moral economy of a society entangled between memory and pardon, revealing the ethical work undertaken by those who accept the present without disclaiming the past." -Didier Fassin, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, author of Humanitarian Reason