Into the Red: The Birth of the Credit Card Market in Postcommunist Russia

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Into the Red explores the emergence of a credit card market in post-Soviet Russia during the formative period from 1988 to 2007. In her analysis, Alya Guseva locates the dynamics of market building in the social structure, specifically the creative use of social networks. Until now, network scholars have overlooked the role that networks play in facilitating exchange in mass markets because they have exclusively focused on firm-to-firm or person-to-person ties. Into the Red demonstrates how networks that combine individuals and organizations help to build markets for mass consumption. The book is situated on the cutting edge of emerging interdisciplinary research, linking multiple layers of analysis with institutional evolution. Using an intricate framework, Guseva chronicles both the creation of a credit card market and the making of a mass consumer. These processes are placed in the context of the ongoing restructuring in postcommunist Russia and the expansion of Western markets and ideologies through the rest of the world.