Identity Theft and the Production of Economic Insecurity

Drawing on interviews and relational ethnography, my dissertation project investigates the resolution of identity theft from the perspective of victims and the institutions they navigate. I explore how victims go about resolving their cases and detail the financial and emotion toll that resolution takes on them and their families. I also study how organizational policies and personnel handle and evaluate reports or claims of identity theft. Together, these perspectives will help us to better understand the ways identity theft impacts individuals’ and households’ wellbeing and access to credit and financial services. At the same time, my dissertation promises to shed light on how individuals and organizations correct inaccurate data and false identification–concerns that speak to the fundamental nature of modern information capitalism, governance, and personhood.