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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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Biography and Shakespeare’s Money

Portraits of an Economic Persona

Paola Pugliatti

’. 29 Money in Shakespeare biography The Shakespeare we want is not the man trivially attending to his worldly affairs instead of spending what time was not taken up by the composition of his plays and poems in contemplation and deep thought (or

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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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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

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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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Marilyn Strathern

How might one consider debt in a highly emotional situation where its discharge is not possible? In the UK arena of bodily material procured for research or medicine, donations cannot be reciprocated. What are called ‘gifts’ are not only made to diffuse entities such as society or science, the procurement and treatment process often creates specific, if anonymous, recipients who are burdened with/grateful for a gift they cannot repay. Indeed to pay – and thus pay‐off – the perceived debt is usually against the law. The gift entails, and hence summons, the absence of money. This article offers a comment on gifts in a context where money forever hovers on the margins of the imagination, and where the more it is banned from sight, the more it creeps back in. In endless discussions about remuneration or compensation payments that are meant to fall short of outright purchase, people tend to focus on the characteristics of diverse organs and tissue, including gametes, and assume they know both what money is and what the gift is. The anthropologist is less certain. Totemic debates in anthropology come to the rescue in a rather odd fashion.

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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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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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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