domenica, luglio 02, 2017

The social meaning of money Pin money, Paychecks, Poor Relief & Other currencies by Vivian A.Zelizer

The social meaning of money Pin money, Paychecks, Poor Relief & Other currencies by Vivian A.Zelizer is an economic classic. Firstly published in 1994 this one is an updated edition published this year.

Money, story of money in the USA with all the problematic met at first for trying to establish an only coin in all the United States without the circulation of parallel money; other kind of money able to paying for services or other goods, modern kind of payments, is the first strong introduction to this thematic: the root and foundation  of the modern economical and social system.

Some chapters involve the problematic of families and money with a historic reconstruction. In the past men didn't tell to their wives how much money entered in the house and so wives mortified constricted to asking to their men something for going on. Some of them stole money, other tried to earn more money selling dairy products if they lived in a farm, like eggs, chickens etc, or working but every kind of work done, every product sold by women wasn't appreciated and that one became another monetary gift for their husband who would have kept the money of their direct work without leaving to them anything.
It was appreciated a good housewife with economical sense.

Gift chapters very interesting because Americans discovered the modality of presenting gifts and money gifts in the past two centuries and with different modalities. Introduced various feasts like Mother's Day that increased the business of buying and presenting gifts.

But when and how and what to present to other people? Money started to be accepted as a gift although sensitive and not always appreciated by the person presented the money in some cases if not well spent, like for example when 50 dollars paid the grocery store's shopping of a lady for the joy of the owner of that shop, I guess.

Let's also see how Jewish live money. In this sense it's suggestive. They love to put money in different boxes at the beginning of every year considering the expenses for Hannukah, charity, school and so on.
During the year the money is addressed in various little, big rivers.

With the time Hannukah, a feast close to Christmas giftless at first, became the Jewish Christmas with exchange of Christmas' gifts ad an Americanization of the feast.

Different chapters involve poor. There is diffidence with poor because richest people think that they are not able to spend money well and the example taken in consideration the one of an italian widow with six children and the husband dead abruptly. We are at the beginning of 1900s. The lady once spent all money for paying hospital, funeral was penniless. What to do? There are some ways for helping poor, some sort of assistance, but...
Before to obtaining some help the lady was instructed very well.
How to spend money for buying food and what to buying, where to go to buying, and she was accompanied for a long time in these stores before to giving her trust and also when the woman in grade to shopping well and with criteria money not given yet.
The sensation that poor people can spend money for silly things create diffidence.
An italian guide for immigrants was published at the beginning of 1900 and the first instructions said of not keeping money in purse or at home.

A truly beautiful classic book about money and society.

I highly suggest you if you want to learn what it means the word money in our society.

I thank Princeton University Press for the physical copy of this book.


Anna Maria Polidori

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