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Vulnerability of the Unbanked and Underbanked in California in the Twenty-first

Edwin Garcia

This project investigates the mechanisms of financial exclusion that result in a significant portion of the population becoming unbanked or underbanked. Despite the United States being an ultra-financialized country with a plethora of financial products available, there remains a substantial number of individuals living on the fringes of these institutions. This exclusion intensifies financial insecurity, deepens inequality, and hampers social mobility, posing a threat to democratic principles. To examine this issue, I will conduct a sociological analysis of underbanked and unbanked individuals' financial exclusion, to understand the strategies employed by marginalized individuals and develop alternative financial solutions to alleviate their exclusion from mainstream systems. I will conduct fieldwork in the San Francisco Bay Area, chosen for its significant income gaps and high poverty rates, making it an ideal location to study this issue. My work is innovative as it combines sociological analysis with documentary filmmaking. My goal is to produce a documentary that presents research findings but also raises awareness about the challenges faced by these populations. By shedding light on this issue, I aim to promote understanding, drive social change, and advocate for the development of inclusive financial systems that cater to the needs of all individuals in society.



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