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What Is Money?

A Definition Beyond Materiality and Quantity

Emanuel Seitz

This article takes seriously this special issue’s claim that money’s quantity is material. Three questions, however, arise at once. First, what is money? Second, is quantity an essential property of money? Third, is materiality an essential property

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“Money Is Life”

Quantity, Social Freedom, and Combinatory Practices in Western Kenya

Mario Schmidt

Whenever I conduct fieldwork in Kaleko, 1 a small market center situated between Kisii and Kisumu, I am baffled by the mutually exclusive perspectives that jo -Kaleko (people of Kaleko) have on money. The people often portray themselves as cattle

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‘Money on the Street’ as a Hoard

How Informal Moneylenders Remain Unbanked

Martin Fotta

authorities and much money in loans to Jurons (non-Gypsies). His reputation lends social capital and support to households associated with him. In São Gabriel, one such tent settlement was located on a small hill close to a town entrance. Its strongman

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Money and the Morality of Commensuration

Currencies of Poverty in Post-Soviet Cuba

Martin Holbraad

One can think of anthropological literature on money as an empirical rumination on the classical idea that money’s power turns on its dual nature as both means and measure of exchange. 1 With reference to this idea, one finds in the literature a

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Richard H. Robbins

“Before there was money, there was debt. Before there was an American republic, there was America’s national debt. Over the last three decades, the neoliberal reordering of political economy produced a ‘debtor nation,’ a ‘republic of debtors,’ and

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Peter Oakley

that the price of gold accurately reflected investor anxiety was not controversial. But having supported the 100-year-long project to try to wean the world off gold as money, the world’s central bankers were less than enthusiastic to give the yellow

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The Devil’s Money

A Multi-level Approach to Acceleration and Turbulence in Oil-Producing Southern Chad

Andrea Behrends and Remadji Hoinathy

economic practices, committees, and institutions to guarantee stability and growth in a country where a volatile political situation would otherwise harm investment in oil production. The intention was to pre-establish transparency of money flows as an

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Bülent Diken

it thinks, how thought emerges in it, and at what points this thought reinforces or clashes with dominant opinions. In Badiou’s ( 2005: 88 ) words, I demonstrate how Winter Sleep “lets us travel with a particular idea.” Money, Debt, and Symbolic

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Nigel Dodd

The history of monetary thought is littered with binary distinctions—commodity versus credit, personal versus impersonal, state versus market—that, although often misleading and unhelpful, continue to shape debates about the nature of money. But

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Introduction

Overcoming the Quantity-Quality Divide in Economic Anthropology

Sandy Ross, Mario Schmidt, and Ville Koskinen

—that-which-is-quantitative—has generated a division of labor wherein economists mathematically explore money’s quantitative, abstract potential while anthropologists analyze money’s qualitative aspects ( Dupuy 2009 ; Peebles 2002 ). This situation neatly reproduces an economy