The three faces of the coin: a socio-economic approach to the institution of money
This article develops a multi-faceted approach to the institution of money. A complex of interlinked, socio-economic theories are used to understand and explain several key aspects of money and money systems in modern societies: (1) money as a means to represent and communicate value; (2) money as technology (money, like other technologies, embodies in its design particular rules and collective representation(s) and is associated with a variety of techniques for using it); (3) monetary orders as socio-technical systems that are designed, administered and regulated; (4) the multiple views, meanings, and uses of money within diverse institutional domains and social settings; (5) contradictory uses and purposes of money in modern societies: among others, as a medium of exchange, as a standard or measure of value; as a basis for expanding productive capacity ("capital") or initiating projects; as a source of social power.
Tom R. BURNS, Philippe DEVILLE
Money, Institution, Symbol, Value, Socio-technical System, Self-fulfilling Prophesy