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Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy Hardcover – October 17, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0691139364 ISBN-10: 0691139369

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (October 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691139369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691139364
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,356,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[T]his collection is an excellent introduction to, and summary of, [Zelizer's] impressive oeuvre, and makes a strong case for economists studying transactions within their cultural context."--Natalie Gold, Times Higher Education

"As a compilation of three decades of Zelizer's contributions to economic sociology, the book will help economists and sociologists see how the discipline has evolved over the years. For other readers, the book is a fascinating introduction to the subject."--Karunesh Tuli, Foreword Reviews

"Immensely interesting and thought-provoking--especially for academic collections and for fans of the Freakanomics series looking for meatier fare."--Library Journal

"Economic Lives reveals . . . Zelizer's brilliant craftsmanship in knitting together innovative narratives about the ceaseless interplay between money and social relations, means and meaning, objective and subjective, material and symbolic. . . . [H]er work still reigns supreme in the description and analysis of the careful economic strategies individuals anxiously deploy to find meaning and a moral ground."--Marion Fourcade, Sociological Forum

From the Inside Flap

"Economic Lives is an outstanding collection by one of the most original thinkers in economic sociology. In addition to bringing together some of her most brilliant papers, Viviana Zelizer provides an integrative analysis of her work and how it relates to the thinking of others who want to understand the fundamental nature of the economy. I know of no one else who can so thoughtfully describe everything from the beginnings of the cultural turn in economic sociology to leading-edge interpretations of what is happening in capitalism today. No serious student of economic sociology will want to neglect this book."--Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business School

"Behind GNP statistics, stock market figures, and profit-loss statements lies a seething tapestry of human social relations. In this exciting collection of her writings on the sociology of economic life, Viviana Zelizer brings this tapestry to life and in focus, stressing the tense synergy of calculation and emotion and the tacit but ever-changing boundaries between market exchange and human intimacy. Zelizer records the psychodynamics of moving boundaries and mutual redefinitions between the worlds of impersonal exchange, money, and wealth on the one hand, and the private worlds of love, friendship, child rearing, and caring on the other. A must-read for anyone interested in the mutual constitution of objective and subjective realities in both history and contemporary life."--Herbert Gintis, Santa Fe Institute and the Central European University

"No one has done more to change the way social scientists think about economic life than Viviana Zelizer. This definitive volume, which pulls together her central contributions, is the best introduction to the work of one of today's most influential scholars."--Donald MacKenzie, University of Edinburgh

"No one else does what Viviana Zelizer does, or in the way she does it. With attractively rigorous scholarship, she reveals hidden meanings in things we otherwise take for granted. Spanning Zelizer's career to date, Economic Lives is welcome for bringing key contributions together in one volume."--Ronald S. Burt, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

"This excellent, attractive, and very welcome collection contains some truly wonderful pieces."--Richard Swedberg, Cornell University

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great collection of Zelizer's important contributions to the sociological study of the relationship between culture and the economy. It is comprised mostly of her previous work, including the central arguments from Pricing a Priceless Child and The Purchase of Intimacy. A very handy reference indeed. But I do wish there were more in terms of tying things together into a larger vision or agenda though, or even some account of things she has changed her mind about etc.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ann Logue on July 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an academic book, so at times, it's a little weighty. Also, some of the articles are old, so data about such things as family income are sometimes dated. But overall, this is fascinating! I was hooked on the discussion of the economic value of children and how children create their own economies (trading items in the lunch room, for example). I learned a lot and found a lot to think about and discuss with other people.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pvictoria on December 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I know the author is very smart and capable but at times it gets very boring. I would rate it as a roller coaster, parts of it are very good and some others it's very boring.
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