The Social Meanings of Money and Property: In Search of a Talisman

“In ‘The Social Meanings of Money and Property’ Kenneth O. Doyle has produced an intriguing study that lays the groundwork for understanding the role played by money and property among individuals, groups and even nationalities. The toughminded/tender minded dichotomy presented in The Social Meanings of Money and Property can also be viewed as the Conservative/Liberal conflict. Conservatives demand self-reliance and Liberals crave nurture. The Social Meanings of Money and Property is first a psychological treatise, second it is a stimulant for complex thought.”—W.J. Rayment, “A most important study… in the grand style of a Joseph Schumpeter…. [It] will reward both the expert and the general reader.”—Matthew Lamb, Boston College “Kenneth O. Doyle's book, The Social Meanings of Money and Property, is one of the most wide-ranging and scholarly books I have ever read…. The comprehensiveness of the scholarship Doyle amasses will undoubtedly stimulate scholars from a variety of disciplines to test out the implications of the model.”—Wilbert J. McKeachie, University of Michigan Why would a man with more money than he could ever spend risk career, family, and freedom for a modest increase in net worth? Why would a woman who never cared at all about investments perjure herself for a better divorce settlement? Why do people of some cultures seem inclined toward economic success? What are the fundamental differences between conservatives and liberals, or capitalists and socialists? Is there any hope of rapprochement between Economic Man and Psychological Man? In this book, Professor Kenneth O. Doyle spells out a theoretical system for understanding these practical, everyday problems, using a conceptual framework for studying the social meanings of money and property. He finds fundamental meaning in the concept of talisman. We use money and property, he proposes, to protect ourselves from fears characteristic of our personalities: the fear of incompetence, the fear of abandonment, the fear of disarray, and the fear of constraint. The Social Meanings of Money and Property will be of interest to scholars and students across a number of disciplines, including, but by no means limited to, psychology, sociology, and economics.

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