Five Thousand, 5,000, and Five Thousands

Disentangling Ruble Quantities and Qualities

in Social Analysis
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This article explores how affluent expatriates in urban Russia adapt to different money practices that involve numbers and quantities. The discussion centers on three analytic categories: difficult sums (5,000); denomination and usage problems (Five Thousand); and ruleof- thumb calculations (five thousands). Each category illustrates different entanglements of money quantities, qualities, and material forms. For example, quantities—exchange rates, denominations, prices—are called upon to justify moral judgments about the Russian people and their culture, as well as the country’s economy. Thus, relations involving money quantities provide ways for wealthy migrants to participate in Russian society, yet they also reinforce migrants’ separation from Russian society. This analysis also suggests that money’s multiplicities exist on a more basic, fundamental level, requiring conversion and mental reckoning across multiple currencies.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology