Zelizer offers a perspective that focuses attention on incomplete commensurability, an essential task where markets and supposedly non market realms intersect. In doing so, Zelizer's approach gives judges, academics, lawyers, and lay people a vantage point on markets and intimacy that reflects how people actually live their lives.
"The interactions of our private lives consist of subtle blends of acts of intimacy and economic exchange, which the legal system awkwardly deconstructs when things go wrong. This beautiful book will gently guide you through the many ironies of intimate exchange."--Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University, and Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences
"Do you think that the realm of money and the realm of intimacy are separate spheres? Viviana Zelizer will make you think again. A fascinating demonstration that romantic relationships are pervaded by transactions of multiple sorts--and that we ignore those transactions at our peril."--Cass Sunstein, author of Republic.com
"Zelizer demolishes the idea that caring and commerce inhabit two separate and mutually exclusive realms. As she shows in a wide range of examples drawn from marriage, the sex trade, and the caring professions, love and money have always been intimately intertwined. A fascinating and even liberating book."--Ann Crittenden, author of The Price of Motherhood and If You've Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything
"Viviana Zelizer has long been known as the worlds most astute, discerning, and original cultural analyst of economic processes. Here, she brings together the two streams of her work in a mighty river of a book. The Purchase of Intimacy will be read for years to come."--Charles Tilly, Joseph L. Buttenweiser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University, author of Roads from Past to Future
"Author of the classic The Social Meaning of Money, Viviana Zelizer here draws many examples from the law and from studies of everyday life to illuminate the wondrous variety of ways money and intimacy continuously mix. Carefully researched and clearly argued, The Purchase of Intimacy is an important and challenging read for scholars and nonscholars alike."--Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of The Commercialization of Intimate Life and coeditor of Global Woman
"Here, Viviana Zelizer explores the fascinating interplay of intimate relationships and economic interest, using legal cases as her raw material. Rejecting simplistic interpretations that privilege either economics or culture, she charts a middle course of 'connected lives' that reveals the complexity and richness of her subject matter. Zelizer provides an exhaustively researched, original, and carefully argued analysis that, like her previous classics, is sure to transform the way scholars think about economics and social relations."--Juliet Schor, Boston College, author of Born to Buy and The Overworked American
"This terrific book establishes the commodification of intimacy as something that now cannot be ignored."--Carol Sanger, Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law, Columbia University