***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** At the risk of potentially dragging this list further into a topic that some may consider tangential, I am posting to this list, at the request of Jeffrey Broadbent, a comment that I emailed to him off-list about money, capital & social relations. My apologies to those who may consider this outside the central focus of the list. Blyden Potts -----Original Message----- From: Jeffrey Broadbent [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 11:19 AM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: RE: money & relationships Please post your comments to the socnet list and then we can continue the collective discussion. Thanks jeff Jeffrey Broadbent ... -----Original Message----- From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 11:31 AM To: 'Jeffrey Broadbent' Cc: [log in to unmask] Subject: RE: money & relationships I rather disagree with this conceptualization. If money is not a social relation, then what types of capital would you consider to be a social relation? Are you contending that some forms of capital ARE relations, but that money is not? Or are you trying to distinguish capital as a relational property from something else which you consider to be the relationship itself (i.e. saying capital, including money, *is of* relations rather than capital *is* relations)? Certainly a dollar bill or a $ is a symbol, as is any quantity associated with money (e.g. a bank account or credit card balance, a paycheck figure). But these are symbols of money. They are only money to the extent they can activate economic power (i.e. shape social, exchange relationships). Money is economic capital (i.e. economic power, that which gives capacity for exchange), or if you prefer to distinguish money from barter then money is the commodified form of this power, abstracted from the objects for which it can be exchanged. Like any other form of socially significant capital, the locus of money is in social relationships. Money is a content or type of relationship. In its abstract, symbolic form it can be stored, but just as with the storage of other forms of capital, this is achieved by translating money from some relationships to other relationships. Money either in the form of social relationships or in its stored, abstract form can be used to create or modify other relationships. That is, it can be translated into other forms of capital. However, the ability to translate money into other forms of capital is not uniform, but rather the value of money (i.e. what it can be translated into or exchanged for) depends on its activation in social relationships, and on the overall network pattern of money relations. It is wholly relational. Blyden Potts -----Original Message----- From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Broadbent Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 10:50 AM To: [log in to unmask] Subject: money & relationships Money in itself is not a relationship, commodified or otherwise, though it derives from relationships. Paper money is a symbol. It is used to represent and quantify the exchange values of tangible goods or services in a diversified economy, to overcome the limits of barter. As a symbol, money becomes abstracted from its relational context. It can be hoarded and transferred, developing its own laws of motion. Some people make money into a fetish and spend their lives in the service of its accumulation. At that point, if "relational" means mutual recognition and response, money is no longer relational. It is completely instrumental and impersonal, dehumanizing social life. Jeffrey Broadbent ... _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.