Money: Instrument of Exchange or Social Institution of Value?

André Orléan (2020)

In: P. Alary, J. Blanc, L. Desmedt & B. Théret (eds.), Institutionalist Theories of Money. An Anthology of the French School. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, pp. 239-264.

Extract. “It is striking that many sociologists observe that their discipline has failed  to establish an adequate intellectual framework for the systematic analysis of money. […] How is such a deficiency of sociological thought to be explained— that is, the absence of a general conception of money which would be ‘coherent’ and ‘systematic’? Let us begin by dismissing the notion that this discipline should have intentionally removed this object from its field of study because it was ‘insufficiently sociological’. This proposition is quite simply absurd. To be convinced of its absurdity, one need only read the important work of some contemporary sociologists. If there is such a deficiency, it relates to sociology in general. The existence of notable exceptions leaves no doubt as to the relevance and originality of the sociological perspective in monetary matters.” (239/240)

Link to the chapter