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The Social Institution of Money
The social institution of money

Money is one of the modern world's essential ‘social technologies’. Sociology, however, which is claimed to be the distinctive intellectual framework for understanding modernity', seems to have ignored money because it is not ‘sociological enough’ (Collins, 1979). A recent revival of interest in the subject only serves to highlight the longer-term neglect (Dodd, 1994; Zelizer, 1994; Leyshon and Thrift, 1997; Ingham, 1996, 1999, 2000a,b, 2001, 2002; Hart, 2000). Aside from reiterating the obvious importance of ‘trust’, sociology has not addressed the problem of the actual social production of money as an institution. Rather, sociology is concerned with very general descriptions of the consequences of money for ‘modern’ society (Giddens, 1990), its ‘social meanings’ (Zelizer, 1994) and, ...

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