An Anthropology of Money: A Critical Introduction shows how our present monetary system was imposed by elites and how they benefit from it. The book poses the question: how, by looking at different forms of money, can we appreciate that they have different effects? The authors demonstrate how modern money requires perpetual growth, an increase in inequality, environmental devastation, increasing commoditization, and, consequently, the perpetual consumption of ever more stuff. These are not intrinsic features of money, but, rather, of debt-money. This text shows that, through studying money in other cultures, we can have money that better serves the broader goals of society.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: A Cultural and Historical Approach to Money
2. A Historical and Cross-Cultural View of Money
3: Modern Money: Origins and Consequences
4. Alternative Currencies: From Ithaca Hours to Bitcoins
5. Summary and Conclusions
Tim Di Muzio is Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong.
Richard H. Robbins is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Anthropology at SUNY at Plattsburgh.