2011년 9월 11일 일요일

An excerpt: Theoretical principles of sociology

지은이: Jonathan Turner, Springer, 2010

* * *

※ 발췌: 

Simmel's Model of Money and Social Transformation

Figure 3.9 extracts insights into the dynamics of markets from Simmel's analysis in ^The Philosophy of Money^(1907[1978]) where he outlines the consequences of money-based exchanges on the form of social relations and, indirectly, on the macrostructure of a society. Like many theorists of the classical period, Simmel was concerned with the changing nature of individual's attachments to groups in the face of increasing size, rationalization, differentiation, and urbanization of "modern" societies. He approached the question of change by recognizing that standards of discourse and media of exchange had become more "impersonal." Money, intellect, logic, and law were all being inserted into social relations during modernization; and while these increase personal freedom and autonomy, they diminish the more enduring attachments provided by tradition, religion, custom, habit, and emotional bonds that had been hallmark of pre-modern societies. Like others of his generation, Simmel tended to romanticize traditional societies, but like Weber, he recognized that the widespread use of money changes individual and corporate actors' orientations and behaviors. Money allows for rational calculations, devoid of the emotions and attachments provided by cohesive groups, longstanding traditions, and particularistic cultures. Yet, to counter Marx's predictions of revolution by the urban proletariat and Weber's dreary portrayal of the steel cage of rationality, Simmel emphasized that the penetration of money into social relations can have positive consequences for individuals and societies.

Like Weber, Simmel argued that the widespread use of money in exchange increases the liquid resources available for taxation by polity, but he adds an important dynamic: polity's interest in securing a stable influx of resources leads polity to consolidate power so as to maintain the value of money, causing an inevitable increase in the use of power to mint money and regulate its use(Simmel 1907[1978]). In so doing, polity becomes ever-more engaged in integrative activities in a society. In fact, the regulation of money creates a new basis of trust. If the purchasing power of money is sustained over timeㅡthat is, inflation is avoided through monetary policy of polityㅡa diffuse sense of trust in polity emerges, thereby giving it a new basis of legimization; and as polity's basis of legimization relies increasingly on monetary policy, actors in government regulate money and exchange processes. Conversely, inflation de-legitimates polity and undermines the diffuse sense of trust created when the value of money is maintained.

(...) 

These integrative dynamics are accelerated by increases in the volume and velocity of exchanges made possible by money. Not only can actors expand the range of resources exchanged by the use of money, they can also use the market to purchase access to networks of actors where they can secure additional resources of value. And once access to networks can be gained through markets, ever-more social units use markets to secure members. Thus, markets become increasingly involved in the distribution of services and opportunities to form affiliations (for a fee).

(...) 

The Rise and Expansion of Dynamic Markets

Fernand Braudel on Commerce in Early Modern Europe

In his history of the material life of Europe, Fernand Braudel (1977, 1979[1982]) outlined the transforming effect of markets. Braudel argued that markets evolve from lower to ever-higher levels. ^Lower-level markets^ are successively structured around (a) person-to-person barter, (b) person-to-person exchanges using money, (c) peddlers making goods sold for money and, at times, on credit. ^Higher-level markets^ are successively structured around (a) fairs or relatively stable places where higher volumes of goods could be bought and sold with money and on credit by large numbers of sellers, (b) trade centers where brokers and bourgeoisie sell goods, credit, and other financial instruments, and (c) private markets where merchants engage in high-risk and high-profit trade involving long chains of exchange between producers and buyers.

As markets have historically evolved toward their higest level of formationㅡthat is, private high-risk trade among long chains of buyers and sellersㅡmarket collapse becomes more likely. Collapse of higher-order markets would then reverbrates down the hierarchy of markets. They more money and financial instruments are employed in high-risk exchange, the more likely are speculative markets to collapse, and the more extensive will the collapse becomeㅡas has been all to evident, for example, in recent years with the collapse of the markets for home mortgages (and all those other equities connected to mortgages) in the United States. For Braudel, financial instruments encourage speculation in the search for high profits, increasing the probability of higher-level market collapse but also increasing the likelihood of collapse that reverbrates across economy.

Markets could not develop to their highest level, Braudel believed, without a polity that had (1) consolidated control of territories and market in these territories into a coherent system of trade, (2) facilitated trade with other societies through its own geopolitical activities, and (3) resisted the temptation to usurp surplus capital for its own political needs, interests, and privilege. For Braudel, the first polity to meet these three conditions was that of the English in the early 1800sㅡthereby jump-starting modern-day industrial capitalism.

There is a broader sociological model of market dynamics contained in Braudel's historical descriptions, as is outlined in Fig. 3.10. I have added causal chains to Braudel's explicit descriptions, but I think that these additions follow from his intent and are implied in his more historical accounts of commerce in early modern Europe. (...)

댓글 쓰기