Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
The Social Meaning of Money: Pin Money, Paychecks, Poor Relief, and Other Currencies - (Original Edition) / Edition 1

The Social Meaning of Money: Pin Money, Paychecks, Poor Relief, and Other Currencies - (Original Edition) / Edition 1

by Viviana A. Zelizer


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A dollar is a dollar—or so most of us believe. Indeed, it is part of the ideology of our time that money is a single, impersonal instrument that impoverishes social life by reducing social relations to cold, hard cash. Arguing against this conventional wisdom, Viviana Zelizer, a distinguished social scientist and prize-winning author, shows how people have invented their own forms of currency, earmarking money in ways that baffle market theorists, incorporating funds into webs of friendship and family relations, and otherwise varying the process by which spending and saving takes place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691048215
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 08/24/1997
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Viviana A. Zelizer is Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. She is also author of Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children (Princeton) and winner of the C. Wright Mills Award.

Table of Contents

1 The Marking of Money
2 The Domestic Production of Monies
3 Gifted Money
4 Poor People's Money
5 With Strings Attached: The Earmarking of
Charitable Cash
6 Contested Monies
7 What Does Money Mean?

What People are Saying About This

Charles Tilly

Zelizer has a genius for detecting hidden order in everyday practices.... Gently but firmly she uses her discoveries to overturn widespread beliefs in the power of money to corrupt, standardize, and depersonalize social ties. Best of all, she writes of these complex matters with grace, lucidity, wit, and humanity.
Charles Tilly, Columbia University

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