Mutual Life, Limited
Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason
By (author) Bill Maurer
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Mutual Life, Limited by Bill Maurer
Book DescriptionWhy are people continually surprised to discover that money is "just" meaning? Mutual Life, Limited spends time among those who, in acknowledging the fictions of finance, are making money anew. It documents ongoing efforts to remake money and finance by Islamic bankers who seek to avoid interest and local currency proponents who would stand outside of national economies. It asks how alternative moneys both escape and reenact dominant forms of money and finance, and reflects critically on their broader implications for scholarship. Based on fieldwork among participants in a local currency system in Ithaca, New York, and among Islamic banking practitioners in the United States, Indonesia, and elsewhere, this book exploits the convergence between the reflexivity of monetary alternatives and social inquiry by questioning the equivalence between money and ethnography. Can money ever be adequate to the value backing it? Can social description ever be adequate to messy and contingent realities? Bill Maurer's ethnographic discovery is that ethnography as such--the holistic description of a way of life--cannot be sustained when faced with a set of practices that anticipates and incorporates it in advance. His fluently written book represents an unprecedented critique of social scientific approaches to money through an ethnographic description of specific monetary alternatives, while also speaking broadly to the very problem of anthropological knowledge in the twenty-first century.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691121970
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 11-Apr-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Bill Maurer
How Would You Like to Pay?, Paperback (November 2015)
In this primer on the history of money, Bill Maurer explores the implications of how technology is changing how we use money and argues that understanding and considering how we would like to pay gives us insight into determining how we would like to live.
Accelerating Possession, Hardback (March 2006)View all books by Bill Maurer
Written by prominent scholars, this title explores the relationship between property and personhood. It considers a range of topics, including: the establishment of the rule of property in US-occupied Iraq; the work of John Locke; and reflections on property and personhood in the art of Jenny Holzer and the novels of Stanislaw Lem.
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Author Biography - Bill Maurer
Bill Maurer is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of "Recharting the Caribbean: Land, Law, and Citizenship in the British Virgin Islands", and the co-editor of "Gender Matters: Re-Reading Michelle Z. Rosaldo" and "Globalization under Construction: Governmentality, Law, and Identity".
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