The Moral Power of Money: Morality and Economy in the Life of the Poor - Culture and Economic Life (Hardback)Ariel Wilkis (author)
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Looking beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary social interactions, The Moral Power of Money investigates the forces of power and morality at play, particularly among the poor. Drawing on fieldwork in a slum of Buenos Aires, Ariel Wilkis argues that money is a critical symbol used to negotiate not only material possessions, but also the political, economic, class, gender, and generational bonds between people.
Through vivid accounts of the stark realities of life in Villa Olimpia, Wilkis highlights the interplay of money, morality, and power. Drawing out the theoretical implications of these stories, he proposes a new concept of moral capital based on different kinds, or "pieces," of money. Each chapter covers a different "piece"-money earned from the informal and illegal economies, money lent through family and market relations, money donated with conditional cash transfers, political money that binds politicians and their supporters, sacrificed money offered to the church, and safeguarded money used to support people facing hardships. This book builds an original theory of the moral sociology of money, providing the tools for understanding the role money plays in social life today.
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm
"Thanks to Ariel Wilkis for bringing compelling insight into our understanding of how money really works. Gracefully blending theoretical analysis with fascinating ethnographic observation, The Moral Power of Money makes a stellar contribution to economic and cultural sociology. A book that will inspire researchers and fascinate general readers." -- Viviana A. Zelizer * Lloyd Cotsen '50 Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, author of The Social Meaning of Money and Economic Lives *
"Ariel Wilkis offers a richly detailed ethnographic exploration of all the different and co-existing ethical frames within which money is judged by the poor, and on 'how money connects them.' We hear many people's own moral language, in their own life situations. These accounts will provoke yet further research in many other places, and Wilkis's approach will become exemplary." -- Jane I. Guyer * Johns Hopkins University *
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