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Blockchain Foundations
For the Internet of Value
Mary C. Lacity
Epic Books, 2020
While there are many books on blockchains, this guide focuses on blockchain applications for business. The target audience is business students, professionals, and managers who want to learn about the overall blockchain landscape — the investments, the size of markets, major players and the global reach — as well as the potential business value of blockchain applications and the challenges that must be overcome to achieve that value. We present use cases and derive action principles for building enterprise blockchain capabilities. Readers will learn enough about the underlying technologies to speak intelligently to technology experts in the space, as the guide also covers the blockchain protocols, code bases and provides a glossary of terms. We use this guide as the textbook for our undergraduate and graduate Blockchain Fundamentals course at the University of Arkansas. Other professors interested in adopting this guide for instructional purposes are welcome to contact the author for supporting instructional materials.
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The Body Impolitic
Artisans and Artifice in the Global Hierarchy of Value
Michael Herzfeld
University of Chicago Press, 2003
The Body Impolitic is a critical study of tradition, not merely as an ornament of local and national heritage, but also as a millstone around the necks of those who are condemned to produce it.

Michael Herzfeld takes us inside a rich variety of small-town Cretan artisans' workshops to show how apprentices are systematically thwarted into learning by stealth and guile. This harsh training reinforces a stereotype of artisans as rude and uncultured. Moreover, the same stereotypes that marginalize artisans locally also operate to marginalize Cretans within the Greek nation and Greece itself within the international community. What Herzfeld identifies as "the global hierarchy of value" thus frames the nation's ancient monuments and traditional handicrafts as evidence of incurable "backwardness."

Herzfeld's sensitive observations offer an intimately grounded way of understanding the effects of globalization and of one of its most visible offshoots, the heritage industry, on the lives of ordinary people in many parts of the world today.
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Boggs
A Comedy of Values
Lawrence Weschler
University of Chicago Press, 1999
In this highly entertaining book, Lawrence Weschler chronicles the antics of J. S. G. Boggs, an artist whose consuming passion is money, or perhaps more precisely, value. Boggs draws money-paper notes in standard currencies from all over the world-and tries to spend his drawings. It is a practice that regularly lands him in trouble with treasury police around the globe and provokes fundamental questions regarding the value of art and the value of money.

"Lawrence Weschler, who evidently admires [Boggs]-something not difficult to do-has written what may be the most extraordinary biography imaginable: "weird," to use a favourite Boggs word. It does something towards changing our entire outlook on money and its uses. And the reader is left with an uneasy feeling that anything in this world can be created by drawing it." —Ruth Rendell, Daily Telegraph

"As ideal a subject matter as money is for Boggs' genius, Boggs is as ideal a topic for Weschler's considerable talents. . . . A writer any less lucid than Weschler would smudge the lines, making of Boggs a counterculture caricature or a high-art huckster. And a writer any less confident would knock the balance, making academic mud pies of Boggs' enlightened chaos." —Jonathon Keats, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"[A] witty and engaging chronicle. . . . Weschler's fascinating account of the artist as agent provocateur demonstrates both the significance of Boggs's art and his determination to continue his unusual critique of the idea of money." —Henry Wessells, Washington Post Book World

"[A] witty, excellently written account of a bizarre and fascinating snippet of modern life." —Paul Ormerod, Times Higher Education Supplement

"The book, like the artist, challenges people to pause and consider the extent to which the economic bedrock of everyday life is in part a confusing welter of artistic abstractions. It's a work that is at once informative, entertaining, and provocative-a reading experience, one might say, of rather good value." —Toby Lester, Atlantic Monthly

"[A] fascinating tale, especially in these days of fluctuating currency rates, the euro, and inexplicable Net-stock valuations." —Paul Lukas, Fortune

Lawrence Weschler, a recipient of the prestigious Lannan Literary Award for 1998, is the author of numerous books, including Calamities of Exile: Three Nonfiction Novellas, and Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, which was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
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Capitalism in the 21st Century
Through the Prism of Value
Michael Roberts
Pluto Press, 2022
A sweeping, authoritative, and accessible overview of major issues in the global economy from a Marxist perspective.

Contemporary capitalism is always evolving. From digital technologies to cryptocurrencies, current trends in political economy are much discussed, but often little understood. So where can we turn for clarity? As Michael Roberts and Guglielmo Carchedi argue, new trends don't necessarily call for a new theory.

In Capitalism in the 21st Century, the authors show how Marx's law of value explains numerous issues in our modern world. In both advanced economies and the periphery, value theory provides a piercing analytical framework through which we can approach topics as varied as labor, profitability, technology, the environment, the role of China, imperialism, and the state.

An ambitious work that will appeal to both heterodox economists and labor movement activists alike, as it demonstrates the ongoing contemporary relevance of Marxist theory to current trends in political economy.
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Catastrophic Thinking
Extinction and the Value of Diversity from Darwin to the Anthropocene
David Sepkoski
University of Chicago Press, 2020
A history of scientific ideas about extinction that explains why we learned to value diversity as a precious resource at the same time as we learned to “think catastrophically” about extinction.

We live in an age in which we are repeatedly reminded—by scientists, by the media, by popular culture—of the looming threat of mass extinction. We’re told that human activity is currently producing a sixth mass extinction, perhaps of even greater magnitude than the five previous geological catastrophes that drastically altered life on Earth. Indeed, there is a very real concern that the human species may itself be poised to go the way of the dinosaurs, victims of the most recent mass extinction some 65 million years ago.
 
How we interpret the causes and consequences of extinction and their ensuing moral imperatives is deeply embedded in the cultural values of any given historical moment. And, as David Sepkoski reveals, the history of scientific ideas about extinction over the past two hundred years—as both a past and a current process—is implicated in major changes in the way Western society has approached biological and cultural diversity. It seems self-evident to most of us that diverse ecosystems and societies are intrinsically valuable, but the current fascination with diversity is a relatively recent phenomenon. In fact, the way we value diversity depends crucially on our sense that it is precarious—that it is something actively threatened, and that its loss could have profound consequences. In Catastrophic Thinking, Sepkoski uncovers how and why we learned to value diversity as a precious resource at the same time as we learned to think catastrophically about extinction.
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Concrete Dreams
Practice, Value, and Built Environments in Post-Crisis Buenos Aires
Nicholas D'Avella
Duke University Press, 2019
In Concrete Dreams Nicholas D’Avella examines the changing social and economic lives of buildings in the context of a construction boom following Argentina's political and economic crisis of 2001. D’Avella tells the stories of small-scale investors who turned to real estate as an alternative to a financial system they no longer trusted, of architects who struggled to maintain artistic values and political commitments in the face of the ongoing commodification of their work, and of residents-turned-activists who worked to protect their neighborhoods and city from being overtaken by new development. Such forms of everyday engagement with buildings, he argues, produce divergent forms of value that persist in tension with hegemonic forms of value. In the dreams attached to built environments and the material forms in which those dreams are articulated—from charts and graphs to architectural drawings, urban planning codes, and tango lyrics—D’Avella finds a blueprint for building livable futures in which people can survive alongside and even push back against the hegemony of capitalism.
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Contingencies of Value
Alternative Perspectives for Critical Theory
Barbara H. Smith
Harvard University Press, 1988

Charges of abandoned standards issue from government offices; laments for the loss of the best that has been thought and said resound through university corridors. While revisionists are perplexed by questions of value, critical theory—haunted by the heresy of relativism—remains captive to classical formulas. Barbara Herrnstein Smith’s book confronts the conceptual problems and sociopolitical conflicts at the heart of these issues and raises their discussion to a new level of sophistication.

Polemical without being rancorous, Contingencies of Value mounts a powerful critique of traditional conceptions of value, taste, judgment, and justification. Through incisive discussions of works by, among others, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Northrop Frye, Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida, Richard Rorty, and Jürgen Habermas, Smith develops an illuminating alternative framework for the explanation of these topics.

All value, she argues, is radically contingent. Neither an objective property of things nor merely a subjective response to them, it is the variable effect of numerous interacting economies that is, systems of apportionment and circulation of “goods.” Aesthetic value, moral value, and the truth-value of judgments are no exceptions, though traditional critical theory, ethics, and philosophy of language have always tried to prove otherwise.

Smith deals in an original way with a wide variety of contemporary issues—from the relation between popular and high culture to the conflicting conception of human motives and actions in economic theory and classical humanism. In an important final chapter, she addresses directly the crucial problem of relativism and explains why a denial of the objectivity of value does not—as commonly feared and charged—produce either a fatuous egalitarianism or moral and political paralysis.

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Creating Your Library Brand
Communicating Your Relevance and Value to Your Patrons
Elisabeth Doucett
American Library Association, 2008

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The Creation and Destruction of Value
The Globalization Cycle
Harold James
Harvard University Press, 2012

Harold James examines the vulnerability and fragility of processes of globalization, both historically and in the present. This book applies lessons from past breakdowns of globalization—above all in the Great Depression—to show how financial crises provoke backlashes against global integration: against the mobility of capital or goods, but also against flows of migration. By a parallel examination of the financial panics of 1929 and 1931 as well as that of 2008, he shows how banking and monetary collapses suddenly and radically alter the rules of engagement for every other type of economic activity.

Increased calls for state action in countercyclical fiscal policy bring demands for trade protection. In the open economy of the twenty-first century, such calls are only viable in very large states—probably only in the United States and China. By contrast, in smaller countries demand trickles out of the national container, creating jobs in other countries. The international community is thus paralyzed, and international institutions are challenged by conflicts of interest. The book shows the looming psychological and material consequences of an interconnected world for people and the institutions they create.

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Culture and Value
Ludwig Wittgenstein
University of Chicago Press, 1980
Peter Winch's translation of Wittgenstein's remarks on culture and value presents all entries chronologically, with the German text alongside the English and a subject index for reference.

"It was Wittgenstein's habit to record his thoughts in sequences of more or less closely related 'remarks' which he kept in notebooks throughout his life. The editor of this collection has gone through these notebooks in order to select those 'remarks' which deal with Wittgenstein's views abou the less technical issues in his philosophy. So here we have Wittgenstein's thoughts about religion, music, architecture, the nature of philosophy, the spirit of our times, genius, being Jewish, and so on. The work is a masterpiece by a mastermind."—Leonard Linsky
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The Digitally Disposed
Racial Capitalism and the Informatics of Value
Seb Franklin
University of Minnesota Press, 2021

Locates the deep history of digitality in the development of racial capitalism

Seb Franklin sets out a media theory of racial capitalism to examine digitality’s racial-capitalist foundations. The Digitally Disposed shows how the promises of boundless connection, flexibility, and prosperity that are often associated with digital technologies are grounded in racialized histories of dispossession and exploitation. Reading archival and published material from the cybernetic sciences alongside nineteenth-century accounts of intellectual labor, twentieth-century sociometric experiments, and a range of literary and visual works, The Digitally Disposed locates the deep history of digitality in the development of racial capitalism.

Franklin makes the groundbreaking argument that capital’s apparently spontaneous synthesis of so-called free individuals into productive circuits represents an “informatics of value.” On the one hand, understanding value as an informatic relation helps to explain why capital was able to graft so seamlessly with digitality at a moment in which it required more granular and distributed control over labor—the moment that is often glossed as the age of logistics. On the other hand, because the informatics of value sort populations into positions of higher and lower capacity, value, and status, understanding their relationship to digitality requires that we see the digital as racialized and gendered in pervasive ways.

Ultimately, The Digitally Disposed questions the universalizing assumptions that are maintained, remade, and intensified by today’s dominant digital technologies. Vital and far-reaching, The Digitally Disposed reshapes such fundamental concepts as cybernetics, informatics, and digitality.

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Economies of Praise
Value, Labor, and Form in Seventeenth-Century English Poetry
Ryan Netzley
Northwestern University Press, 2024

Reevaluates early modern poems of praise as, paradoxically, challenging an artistic economy that values exchange and productivity
 
Early modern poems of praise typically insist that they do not have a purpose or enact real labor beyond their effortless listing of laudable qualities. And yet the poets discussed in this study, including Ben Jonson, Andrew Marvell, Anne Bradstreet, Lucy Hutchinson, and John Milton, hint at an alternative aesthetic economy at work in their verse. Poetic praise, it turns out, might show us a social world outside the organizing principle of exchange.
 
In Economies of Praise: Value, Labor, and Form in Seventeenth‑Century English Poetry, Ryan Netzley explores how poems of praise imagine alternatives to market and gift economies and point instead to a self-contained aesthetic economy that works against a more expansive and productivist understanding of literary art. By depicting exchange as inconsequential, unproductive, and redundant rather than a necessary constituent of social order, these poems model for modern readers a world without the imperative to create, appraise, and repeatedly demonstrate one’s own value.

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The Economy of Prestige
Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value
James F. English
Harvard University Press, 2008

This is a book about one of the great untold stories of modern cultural life: the remarkable ascendancy of prizes in literature and the arts. Such prizes and the competitions they crown are almost as old as the arts themselves, but their number and power--and their consequences for society and culture at large--have expanded to an unprecedented degree in our day. In a wide-ranging overview of this phenomenon, James F. English documents the dramatic rise of the awards industry and its complex role within what he describes as an economy of cultural prestige.

Observing that cultural prizes in their modern form originate at the turn of the twentieth century with the institutional convergence of art and competitive spectator sports, English argues that they have in recent decades undergone an important shift--a more genuine and far-reaching globalization than what has occurred in the economy of material goods. Focusing on the cultural prize in its contemporary form, his book addresses itself broadly to the economic dimensions of culture, to the rules or logic of exchange in the market for what has come to be called "cultural capital." In the wild proliferation of prizes, English finds a key to transformations in the cultural field as a whole. And in the specific workings of prizes, their elaborate mechanics of nomination and election, presentation and acceptance, sponsorship, publicity, and scandal, he uncovers evidence of the new arrangements and relationships that have refigured that field.

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Econophonia
Music, Value, and Forms of Life
Gavin Steingo and Jairo Moreno, special issue editors
Duke University Press

This issue theorizes what questions of value might contribute to our understanding of sound and music. Divesting sound and music from notions of intrinsic value, the contributors follow various avenues through which sound and music produce value in and as history, politics, ethics, epistemology, and ontology. As a result, the very question of what sound and music are—what constitutes them, as well as what they constitute—is at stake. Contributors examine the politics of music and crowds, the metaphysics of sensation, the ecological turn in music studies, and the political resistance inherent to sound; connect Karl Marx to black music and slave labor; look at Marx, the Marx Brothers, and fetishism; and explore the tension between the voice of the Worker who confronts Capital head-on and the voices of actual workers.

Contributors: Amy Cimini, Bill Dietz, Jairo Moreno, Rosalind Morris, Ana María Ochoa Gautier, Ronald Radano, Gavin Steingo, Peter Szendy, Gary Tomlinson, Naomi Waltham-Smith
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Entropy Economics
The Living Basis of Value and Production
James K. Galbraith and Jing Chen
University of Chicago Press, 2025

Economists dream of equilibrium. It’s time to wake up.

In mainstream economics, markets are ideal if competition is perfect. When supply balances demand, economic maturity is orderly and disturbed only by shocks. These ideas are rooted in doctrines going back thousands of years yet, as James K. Galbraith and Jing Chen show, they contradict the foundations of our scientific understanding of the physical and biological worlds.

Entropy Economics discards the conventions of equilibrium and presents a new basis for thinking about economic issues, one rooted in life processes—an unequal world of unceasing change in which boundaries, plans, and regulations are essential. Galbraith and Chen’s theory of value is based on scarcity, and it accounts for the power of monopoly. Their theory of production covers increasing and decreasing returns, uncertainty, fixed investments over time, and the impact of rising resource costs. Together, their models illuminate key problems such as trade, finance, energy, climate, conflict, and demography.

Entropy Economics is a thrilling framework for understanding the world as it is and will be keenly relevant to the economic challenges of a world threatened with disorder.

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The Ethical Condition
Essays on Action, Person, and Value
Michael Lambek
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Written over a thirty-year span, Michael Lambek’s essays in this collection point with definitive force toward a single central truth: ethics is intrinsic to social life. As he shows through rich ethnographic accounts and multiple theoretical traditions, our human condition is at heart an ethical one—we may not always be good or just, but we are always subject to their criteria. Detailing Lambek’s trajectory as one anthropologist thinking deeply throughout a career on the nature of ethical life, the essays accumulate into a vibrant demonstration of the relevance of ethics as a practice and its crucial importance to ethnography, social theory, and philosophy.

Organized chronologically, the essays begin among Malagasy speakers on the island of Mayotte and in northwest Madagascar. Building from ethnographic accounts there, they synthesize Aristotelian notions of practical judgment and virtuous action with Wittgensteinian notions of the ordinariness of ethical life and the importance of language, everyday speech, and ritual in order to understand how ethics are lived. They illustrate the multiple ways in which ethics informs personhood, character, and practice; explore the centrality of judgment, action, and irony to ethical life; and consider the relation of virtue to value. The result is a fully fleshed-out picture of ethics as a deeply rooted aspect of the human experience. 
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Experience and Value
Essays on John Dewey & Pragmatic Naturalism
S. Morris Eames. Edited by Elizabeth R. Eames and Richard W. Field
Southern Illinois University Press, 2002

Experience and Value: Essays on John Dewey and Pragmatic Naturalism brings together twelve philosophical essays spanning the career of noted Dewey scholar, S. Morris Eames. The volume includes both critiques and interpretations of important issues in John Dewey’s value theory as well as the application of Eames’s pragmatic naturalism in addressing contemporary problems in social theory, education, and religion.

The collection begins with a discussion of the underlying principles of Dewey’s pragmatic naturalism, including the concepts of nature, experience, and philosophic method. Essays “Experience and Philosophical Method in John Dewey” and “Primary Experience in the Philosophy of John Dewey” develop what Eames believed to be a central theme in Dewey’s thought and provide a theoretical framework for subsequent discussion.

The volume continues with specific applications of this framework in the areas of value theory, moral theory, social philosophy, and the philosophy of religion. Eames’s analysis of value exposes the connection between the immediately felt values of experience and the more sophisticated judgments of value that are the product of reflection. From this basis in moral theory, Eames considers the derivation of judgments of obligation from judgments of fact. This discussion provides a grounding for a consideration of contemporary social issues directed by naturalistic and scientific principles.

In the third section, with regard to educational theory, Eames considers possible resolutions of the current dichotomy between the factual worldview of science and the humanistic worldview of the liberal arts. The comprehensive article, “Dewey’s Views of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness,” connects the essays of the first and second sections and explores the placement of Dewey’s value theory with respect to morals and aesthetics. With “Creativity and Democracy,” in the fourth section, Eames also considers the concept of democracy from the standpoint of current and historical issues faced by society. This article hints at a major project of Eames’s intellectual life—the theory of democracy.

The volume concludes with a discussion of the difficulty of maintaining the values of religious experience in a scientifically and technologically sophisticated world, the very topic that first brought Eames to philosophy—the meaning of religion and the religious life. Suggested solutions are offered in “The Lost Individual and Religious Unity.”

Experience and Value: Essays on John Dewey and Pragmatic Naturalism illuminates Eames’ life of inquiry, a life that included moral, social, aesthetic, and religious dimensions of value—all suffused with the influence of John Dewey.

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Film Preservation
Competing Definitions of Value, Use, and Practice
Karen F. Gracy
American Library Association, 2009

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Gender, Work and Property
An Ethnographic Study of Value in a Spanish Village
Nancy Konvalinka
Campus Verlag, 2013
Why do young men born in many small villages in Spain tend, at the end of the twentieth century, to stay there to live, often remaining unmarried, while young women from the same villages tend to leave? In Gender, Work, and Property, Nancy Konvalinka explores this phenomenon using the case of one small village in northwestern Spain, and she extrapolates her findings there to understand similar processes elsewhere in Europe.
The changes in this village are analyzed and documented through long-term ethnographic research, participant observation, interviews, kinship diagrams, life-course models, and archive study in order to help bring the village alive for the reader.

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How Do We Know What Information Sharing Is Really Worth? Exploring Methodologies to Measure the Value of Information Sharing and Fusion Efforts
Brian A. Jackson
RAND Corporation, 2014
The sharing of intelligence and law enforcement information is a central part of U.S. domestic security efforts, yet there are concerns about the effectiveness of information-sharing and fusion activities and their value relative to the public funds invested in them. This report lays out the challenges of evaluating information-sharing efforts that seek to achieve multiple goals simultaneously; reviews past evaluations of information-sharing programs; and lays out a path to improving the evaluation of such efforts.
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Kinds of Value
An Experiment in Modal Anthropology
Paul Kockelman
Prickly Paradigm Press, 2020
In this slim volume, anthropologist Paul Kockelman showcases, reworks, and extends some of the core resources anthropologists and like-minded scholars have developed for thinking about value. Rather than theorize value head on, he offers a careful interpretation of a Mayan text about an offering to a god that lamentably goes awry. Kockelman analyzes the text, its telling, and the conditions of possibility for its original publication. Starting with a relatively simple definition of value—that which stands at the intersection of what signs stand for and what agents strive for—he unfolds, explicates, and experiments with its variations. Contrary to widespread claims in and around the discipline, Kockelman argues that it is not so-called relations, but rather relations between relations, that are at the heart of the interpretive endeavor.
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Latin and Greek in American Education
With Symposia on the Value of Humanistic Studies
Edited by Francis W. Kelsey
University of Michigan Press, 1911
Latin and Greek in American Education is a volume of papers edited by Michigan’s Francis W. Kelsey, stemming from the Michigan Classical Conference’s examination of the methods and strategies for teaching Latin and Greek and their relation to public life, and the relationship between Classics and law, theology, politics, and medicine. Included in the volume is “The Case for the Classics” by Paul Shorey, of the University of Chicago.
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Lesbian Rule
Cultural Criticism and the Value of Desire
Amy Villarejo
Duke University Press, 2003
With hair slicked back and shirt collar framing her young patrician face, Katherine Hepburn's image in the 1935 film Sylvia Scarlett was seen by many as a lesbian representation. Yet, Amy Villarejo argues, there is no final ground upon which to explain why that image of Hepburn signifies lesbian or why such a cross-dressing Hollywood fantasy edges into collective consciousness as a lesbian narrative. Investigating what allows viewers to perceive an image or narrative as "lesbian," Villarejo presents a theoretical exploration of lesbian visibility. Focusing on images of lesbians in film, she analyzes what these representations contain and their limits. She combines Marxist theories of value with poststructuralist insights to argue that lesbian visibility operates simultaneously as an achievement and a ruse, a possibility for building a new visual politics and away of rendering static and contained what lesbian might mean.
Integrating cinema studies, queer and feminist theory, and cultural studies, Villarejo illuminates the contexts within which the lesbian is rendered visible. Toward that end, she analyzes key portrayals of lesbians in public culture, particularly in documentary film. She considers a range of films—from documentaries about Cuba and lesbian pulp fiction to Exile Shanghai and The Brandon Teena Story—and, in doing so, brings to light a nuanced economy of value and desire.
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Literary Structure, Evolution, and Value
Russian Formalism and Czech Structuralism Reconsidered
Jurij Striedter
Harvard University Press, 1989

Jurij Striedter provides a dynamic introduction to and critique of Russian Formalism and Czech Structuralism. He makes clear the pathbreaking contribution of these European schools to modern literary theory and criticism, placing them in their contemporary contexts and at the same time relating them to ongoing debates in America.

Striedter gives an authoritative account of the development of Russian Formalism from its birth around 1915 through its forced end in the late 1920s, focusing on the contributions of Roman Jakobson, Mikhail Bakhtin, and others to the theory and analysis of literary history, literary genres and narrative prose. He compares the concepts of the literary work, literature as system, and literary evolution in both Russian Formalism and Czech Structuralism to show how these early formalistic approaches led to an elaborated structuralist and semiotic concept of literature as a historically changing system correlated to society and cultural change. He sets forth the work of Jan Mukarovsky and Felix Vodicka, whose Czech Structuralist theory of literary evolution and literary reception (or reader response) anticipated much recent theorizing.

Finally, Striedter brings these ideas into play by showing how they can contribute to the debate of the last few years in North America and Europe about the key issue of literary evaluation. This book and the theories it discusses challenge our contemporary understanding of literature, its history, and its functions in society and human life.

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Living Worth
Value and Values in Global Pharmaceutical Markets
Stefan Ecks
Duke University Press, 2022
In Living Worth Stefan Ecks draws on ethnographic research on depression and antidepressant usage in India to develop a new theory of value. Framing depressive disorder as a problem of value, Ecks traces the myriad ways antidepressants come to have value, from their ability to help make one’s life worth living to the wealth they generate in the multibillion-dollar global pharmaceutical market. Through case studies that include analyses of the different valuation of generic and brand-name drugs, the origins of rising worldwide depression rates, and the marketing, prescription, and circulation of antidepressants, Ecks theorizes value as a process of biocommensuration. Biocommensurations—transactions that aim or claim to make life better—are those forms of social, medical, and corporate actions that allow value to be measured, exchanged, substituted, and redistributed. Ecks’s theory expands value beyond both a Marxist labor theory of value and a free market subjective theory, thereby offering new insights into how the value of lives and things become entangled under neoliberal capitalism.
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Lost Landscapes and Failed Economies
The Search For A Value Of Place
Thomas Michael Power
Island Press, 1996
Over the past two decades, a growing consensus has emerged among Americans as to the importance of environmental quality. Yet at the same time, conflict over environmental issues has built to a point where rational discussion is often impossible. Efforts to protect unique ecosystems and endangered wildlife are portrayed as threatening entire regions and ways of life, and anti-environmental groups such as the Wise Use Movement are able to use economic insecurity as a weapon in an ongoing attempt to rescind environmental protection measures.In Lost Landscapes and Failed Economies, economist Thomas Michael Power argues that the quality of the natural landscape is an essential part of a community's permanent economic base and need not be sacrificed in short-term efforts to maintain employment levels in industries that are ultimately not sustainable. He provides numerous case studies of the ranching, mining, and timber industries in a critical analysis of the role played by extractive industry in our communities. In addition, he looks at areas where environmental protection measures have been enacted and examines the impact of protected landscapes on local economies.Both environmental protection and extractive industry are economic activities that can contribute to local economic well-being. Both generate jobs and income. Both have a significant impact on people's lives. Power exposes the fundamental flaws in the widely accepted view of the local economy built around the "extractive model," a model that overemphasizes the importance of extractive industries and assumes that people don't care where they live and that businesses don't care about the available labor supply. By revealing the inadequacies of the extractive model, he lays to rest fears that environmental protection will cause an imminent collapse of the community, and puts economic tools in the hands of those working to protect their communities.
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Making Value
Music, Capital, and the Social
Timothy D. Taylor
Duke University Press, 2024
In Making Value, Timothy D. Taylor examines how people’s conceptions of value inform and shape their production and consumption of music. Drawing on anthropological value theory, Taylor theorizes music’s economic and noneconomic forms of value both ethnographically and historically. He covers the creation and exchange of value in a wide range of contexts: indie rock scenes, an Irish traditional music session, the work of music managers, how supply chains function to create various forms of value, how trendspotters seek out and create value, and how musical performances act as media of value. Taylor shows that to focus on value is to attend to what is meaningful to people as they move through their worlds. Ultimately, Taylor demonstrates that theorizing value aids us in moving beyond the music itself toward understanding how musicians, workers in the music business, and audiences struggle to make and maintain what they value.
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Mind, Value, and Reality
John McDowell
Harvard University Press, 2001
This volume collects some of John McDowell's influential papers, written at various times over the last two decades. One group of essays deals mainly with issues in the interpretation of the ethical writings of Aristotle and Plato. A second group of papers contains more direct treatments of questions in moral philosophy that arise naturally out of reflection on the Greek tradition. Some of the essays in the second group exploit Wittgensteinian ideas about reason in action, and they open into the third group of papers, which contains readings of central elements in Wittgenstein's difficult later work. A fourth group deals with issues in the philosophy of mind and with questions about personal identity and the special character of first-personal thought and speech.
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Models of Value
Eighteenth-Century Political Economy and the Novel
James Thompson
Duke University Press, 1996
James Thompson examines the concept of value as it came to be understood in eighteenth-century England through two emerging and divergent discourses: political economy and the novel. By looking at the relationship between these two developing forms—one having to do with finance, the other with romance—Thompson demonstrates how value came to have such different meaning in different realms of experience. A highly original rethinking of the origins of the English novel, Models of Value shows the novel’s importance in remapping English culture according to the separate spheres of public and domestic life, men’s and women’s concerns, money and emotion.
In this account, political economy and the novel clearly arise as solutions to a crisis in the notion of value. Exploring the ways in which these different genres responded to the crisis—political economy by reconceptualizing wealth as capital, and the novel by refiguring intrinsic or human worth in the form of courtship narratives—Thompson rereads several literary works, including Defoe’s Roxana, Fielding’s Tom Jones, and Burney’s Cecilia, along with influential contemporary economic texts. Models of Value also traces the discursive consequences of this bifurcation of value, and reveals how history and theory participate in the very novelistic and economic processes they describe. In doing so, the book bridges the opposition between the interests of Marxism and feminism, and the distinctions which, newly made in the eighteenth century, continue to inform our discourse today.
An important reformulation of the literary and cultural production of the eighteenth century, Models of Value will attract students of the novel, political economy, and of literary history and theory.
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Nature and the Marketplace
Capturing The Value Of Ecosystem Services
Geoffrey Heal
Island Press, 2000
In recent years, scientists have begun to focus on the idea that healthy, functioning ecosystems provide essential services to human populations, ranging from water purification to food and medicine to climate regulation. Lacking a healthy environment, these services would have to be provided through mechanical means, at a tremendous economic and social cost.
Nature and the Marketplace examines the controversial proposition that markets should be designed to capture the value of those services. Written by an economist with a background in business, it evaluates the real prospects for various of nature's marketable services to “turn profits” at levels that exceed the profits expected from alternative, ecologically destructive, business activities. The author:
  • describes the infrastructure that natural systems provide, how we depend on it, and how we are affecting it
  • explains the market mechanism and how it can lead to more efficient resource use
  • looks at key economic activities -- such as ecotourism, bioprospecting, and carbon sequestration -- where market forces can provide incentives for conservation
  • examines policy options other than the market, such as pollution credits and mitigation banking
  • considers the issue of sustainability and equity between generations
Nature and the Marketplace presents an accessible introduction to the concept of ecosystem services and the economics of the environment. It offers a clear assessment of how market approaches can be used to protect the environment, and illustrates that with a number of cases in which the value of ecosystems has actually been captured by markets.
The book offers a straightforward business economic analysis of conservation issues, eschewing romantic notions about ecosystem preservation in favor of real-world economic solutions. It will be an eye-opening work for professionals, students, and scholars in conservation biology, ecology, environmental economics, environmental policy, and related fields.

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Performing Rites
On the Value of Popular Music
Simon Frith
Harvard University Press, 1998

Who's better? Billie Holiday or P. J. Harvey? Blur or Oasis? Dylan or Keats? And how many friendships have ridden on the answer? Such questions aren't merely the stuff of fanzines and idle talk; they inform our most passionate arguments, distill our most deeply held values, make meaning of our ever-changing culture. In Performing Rites, one of the most influential writers on popular music asks what we talk about when we talk about music. What's good, what's bad? What's high, what's low? Why do such distinctions matter? Instead of dismissing emotional response and personal taste as inaccessible to the academic critic, Simon Frith takes these forms of engagement as his subject--and discloses their place at the very center of the aesthetics that structure our culture and color our lives.

Taking up hundreds of songs and writers, Frith insists on acts of evaluation of popular music as music. Ranging through and beyond the twentieth century, Performing Rites puts the Pet Shop Boys and Puccini, rhythm and lyric, voice and technology, into a dialogue about the undeniable impact of popular aesthetics on our lives. How we nod our heads or tap our feet, grin or grimace or flip the dial; how we determine what's sublime and what's "for real"--these are part of the way we construct our social identities, and an essential response to the performance of all music. Frith argues that listening itself is a performance, both social gesture and bodily response. From how they are made to how they are received, popular songs appear here as not only meriting aesthetic judgments but also demanding them, and shaping our understanding of what all music means.

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Pharmocracy
Value, Politics, and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine
Kaushik Sunder Rajan
Duke University Press, 2017
Continuing his pioneering theoretical explorations into the relationships among biosciences, the market, and political economy, Kaushik Sunder Rajan introduces the concept of pharmocracy to explain the structure and operation of the global hegemony of the multinational pharmaceutical industry. He reveals pharmocracy's logic in two case studies from contemporary India: the controversial introduction of an HPV vaccine in 2010, and the Indian Patent Office's denial of a patent for an anticancer drug in 2006 and ensuing legal battles. In each instance health was appropriated by capital and transformed from an embodied state of well-being into an abstract category made subject to capital's interests. These cases demonstrate the precarious situation in which pharmocracy places democracy, as India's accommodation of global pharmaceutical regulatory frameworks pits the interests of its citizens against those of international capital. Sunder Rajan's insights into this dynamic make clear the high stakes of pharmocracy's intersection with health, politics, and democracy.
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The Philosophical Papers of Alan Donagan, Volume 2
Action, Reason, and Value
Alan Donagan
University of Chicago Press, 1994
A major voice in late twentieth-century philosophy, Alan Donagan is distinguished for his theories on the history of philosophy and the nature of morality. The Philosophical Papers of Alan Donagan, volumes 1 and 2, collect 28 of Donagan's most important and best-known essays on historical understanding and ethics from 1957 to 1991.

Volume 2 addresses issues in the philosophy of action and moral theory. With papers on Kant, von Wright, Sellars, and Chisholm, this volume also covers a range of questions in applied ethics—from the morality of Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to ethical questions in medicine and law.
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The Politics of Value
Three Movements to Change How We Think about the Economy
Jane L. Collins
University of Chicago Press, 2017
The Great Recession not only shook Americans’ economic faith but also prompted powerful critiques of economic institutions. This timely book explores three movements that gathered force after 2008: the rise of the benefit corporation, which requires social responsibility and eschews share price as the best metric for success; the emergence of a new group, Slow Money, that fosters peer-to-peer investing; and the 2011 Wisconsin protests against a bill restricting the union rights of state workers.

Each case shows how the concrete actions of a group of citizens can prompt us to reflect on what is needed for a just and sustainable economic system. In one case, activists raised questions about the responsibilities of business, in the second about the significance of local economies, and in the third about the contributions of the public sector. Through these movements, Jane L. Collins maps a set of cultural conversations about the types of investments and activities that contribute to the health of the economy. Compelling and persuasive, The Politics of Value offers a new framework for viewing economic value, one grounded in thoughtful assessment of the social division of labor and the relationship of the state and the market to civil society.
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A Question of Quality
Popularity and Value in Modern Creative Writing
Edited by Louis Filler
University of Wisconsin Press, 1976

The subjects treated in this symposium have one major characteristic in common, that they have recently, or relatively recently, enjoyed high popularity among readers. Also, they have received from substantial to torrents of comment.

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Rhetorics of Value
Exhibition Design and Communication in Museums and Beyond
Corinne A. Kratz
Duke University Press, 2025

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Standards of Value
Money, Race, and Literature in America
Germana, Michael
University of Iowa Press, 2010

In Standards of Value, Michael Germana reveals how tectonic shifts in U.S. monetary policy—from the Coinage Act of 1834 to the abolition of the domestic gold standard in 1933–34—correspond to strategic changes by American writers who renegotiated the value of racial difference. Populating the pages of this bold and innovative study are authors as varied as Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Washington Cable, Charles Chesnutt, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Ralph Ellison—all of whom drew analogies between the form Americans thought the nation's money should take and the form they thought race relations and the nation should take.

A cultural history of race organized around and enmeshed within the theories of literary and monetary value, Standards of Value also recovers a rhetorical tradition in American culture whose echoes can be found in the visual and lyrical grammars of hip hop, the paintings of John W. Jones and Michael Ray Charles, the cinematography of Spike Lee, and many other contemporary forms and texts.

This reconsideration of American literature and cultural history has implications for how we value literary texts and how we read shifting standards of value. In vivid prose, Germana explains why dollars and cents appear where black and white bodies meet in American novels, how U.S. monetary policy gave these symbols their cultural currency, and why it matters for scholars of literary and cultural studies.

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The Theory of Monopolistic Competition
A Re-orientation of the Theory of Value, Eighth Edition
Edward Hastings Chamberlain
Harvard University Press

Chamberlain's classic work, now in its eighth edition, continues to influence the fundamental thinking of economists and businessmen, and for the best of reasons: It is a basic treatise in theory which, unlike traditional theories of “perfect competition,” deals with the economic world we live in, including both price and nonprice competition, oligopoly, various degrees of monopoly, “differentiated” products, advertising, etc. Its influence has spread extensively as well as intensively—to new theoretical problems, such as economic dynamics and development, and to the analysis of an increasingly wide range of the so-called “applied” fields.

In this eighth edition of The Theory of Monopolistic Competition Professor Chamberlain has added three new appendices: The Definition of Selling Costs; Numbers and Elasticities; and The Origin and Early Development of Monopolistic Competition Theory. The index has been extensively revised and expanded. In successive earlier editions the author compiled a bibliography of 1497 items. He also added a new treatment of the cost curve of the firm, discussing in particular some current misconceptions as to the role of the laws of proportions and of the divisibility of factors in relation to economics and diseconomies of scale, and advancing a broader theory which assigns to both proportions and scale their proper roles.

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Things Worth Keeping
The Value of Attachment in a Disposable World
Christine Harold
University of Minnesota Press, 2020

A timely examination of the attachments we form to objects and how they might be used to reduce waste

Rampant consumerism has inundated our planet with pollution and waste. Yet attempts to create environmentally friendly forms of consumption are often co-opted by corporations looking to sell us more stuff. In Things Worth Keeping, Christine Harold investigates the attachments we form to the objects we buy, keep, and discard, and explores how these attachments might be marshaled to create less wasteful practices and balance our consumerist and ecological impulses. 

Although all economies produce waste, no system generates as much or has become so adept at hiding its excesses as today’s mode of global capitalism. This book suggests that managing the material excesses of our lives as consumers requires us to build on, rather than reject, our desire for and attraction to objects. Increasing environmental awareness on its own will be ineffective at reversing ecological devastation, Harold argues, unless it is coupled with a more thorough understanding of how and why we love the things that imbue our lives with pleasure, meaning, and utility. 

From Marie Kondo’s method for decluttering that asks whether the things in our lives “spark joy” to the advent of emotionally durable design, which seeks to reduce consumption and waste by increasing the meaningfulness of the relationship between user and product, Harold explores how consumer psychology and empathetic design can transform our perception of consumer products from disposable to interconnected. An urgent call for rethinking consumerism, Things Worth Keeping shows that by recognizing our responsibility for the things we produce, we can become better stewards of the planet.

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Value and Vision in American Literature
Essays in Honor of Ray Lewis White
Joseph Candido
Ohio University Press, 1999
The widely divergent voices in this collection are united by their common interest in the American literary heritage and by their intention to redefine that heritage by altering our angle of vision or forcing us to re-examine some traditional values. Unabashedly eclectic in methodology, subject matter, and technique, the essays collected in Value and Vision in American Literature nonetheless share a common intention to recover the neglected, reassess the familiar, or challenge the orthodox.

Through their various (and sometimes contrasting) critical points of view, these essays call attention to ideas or connections that demand a reappraisal of conventional attitudes or ingrained responses. Ranging in focus from the period of the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, they treat indisputably canonical figures such as Hawthorne, Faulkner, James, Hemingway, Cather, Bellow, Porter, Welty, and Warren in the same breath and often refreshingly on the same terms with Wallace Stegner, Cormac McCarthy, Dunstan Thompson, neglected Civil War poets, and the New Formalist critics of the last ten years.

In celebration and in reflection of the important critical contribution Ray Lewis White has made to the study of American literature, these writers, each a noted scholar in the field of literary studies, present a picture of American literature that manages to value the past at the same time that it asks us to envision that past anew.
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Value, Conflict, and Order
Berlin, Hampshire, Williams, and the Realist Revival in Political Theory
Edward Hall
University of Chicago Press, 2020

Is the purpose of political philosophy to articulate the moral values that political regimes would realize in a virtually perfect world and show what that implies for the way we should behave toward one another? That model of political philosophy, driven by an effort to draw a picture of an ideal political society, is familiar from the approach of John Rawls and others. Or is political philosophy more useful if it takes the world as it is, acknowledging the existence of various morally non-ideal political realities, and asks how people can live together nonetheless?

The latter approach is advocated by “realist” thinkers in contemporary political philosophy. In Value, Conflict, and Order, Edward Hall builds on the work of Isaiah Berlin, Stuart Hampshire, and Bernard Williams in order to establish a political realist’s theory of politics for the twenty-first century. The realist approach, Hall argues, helps us make sense of the nature of moral and political conflict, the ethics of compromising with adversaries and opponents, and the character of political legitimacy. In an era when democratic political systems all over the world are riven by conflict over values and interests, Hall’s conception is bracing and timely.

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Value in Art
Manet and the Slave Trade
Henry M. Sayre
University of Chicago Press, 2022
Art historian Henry M. Sayre traces the origins of the term “value” in art criticism, revealing the politics that define Manet’s art.

How did art critics come to speak of light and dark as, respectively, “high in value” and “low in value”? Henry M. Sayre traces the origin of this usage to one of art history’s most famous and racially charged paintings, Édouard Manet’s Olympia.

Art critics once described light and dark in painting in terms of musical metaphor—higher and lower tones, notes, and scales. Sayre shows that it was Émile Zola who introduced the new “law of values” in an 1867 essay on Manet. Unpacking the intricate contexts of Zola’s essay and of several related paintings by Manet, Sayre argues that Zola’s usage of value was intentionally double coded—an economic metaphor for the political economy of slavery. In Manet’s painting, Olympia and her maid represent objects of exchange, a commentary on the French Empire’s complicity in the ongoing slave trade in the Americas.
 
Expertly researched and argued, this bold study reveals the extraordinary weight of history and politics that Manet’s painting bears. Locating the presence of slavery at modernism’s roots, Value in Art is a surprising and necessary intervention in our understanding of art history.
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Value in Ethics and Economics
Elizabeth Anderson
Harvard University Press, 1993
Elizabeth Anderson offers a new theory of value and rationality that rejects cost–benefit analysis in our social lives and in our ethical theories. This account of the plurality of values thus offers a new approach, beyond welfare economics and traditional theories of justice, for assessing the ethical limitations of the market. In this light, Anderson discusses several contemporary controversies involving the proper scope of the market, including commercial surrogate motherhood, privatization of public services, and the application of cost–benefit analysis to issues of environmental protection.
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The Value of Aesthetics
Oaxacan Woodcarvers in Global Economies of Culture
By Alanna Cant
University of Texas Press, 2019

Unlike many other handicrafts in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, which have long cultural and historical trajectories, Oaxacan woodcarving began in the second half of the twentieth century and has always been done for the commercial market. In The Value of Aesthetics, Alanna Cant explores how one family’s workshop in the village of San Martín Tilcajete has become the most critically and economically successful, surpassing those of neighbors who use similar materials and techniques. The dominance of this family is tied to their ability to produce a new aesthetic that appeals to three key “economies of culture”: the tourist market for souvenirs, the national market for traditional Mexican artesanías, and the international market for indigenous art.

Offering a new analytical model by which anthropologists can approach visual aesthetics and conceptualize the power of artworks as socially active objects, The Value of Aesthetics shows how aesthetic practices produce and redefine social and political relationships. By investigating the links between aesthetics and issues of production, authorship, ownership, and identity, Cant shows aesthetic change to be a process that ultimately repackages everyday life into commodified objects in Oaxaca.

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The Value of Comparison
Peter van der Veer
Duke University Press, 2016
In The Value of Comparison Peter van der Veer makes a compelling case for using comparative approaches in the study of society and for the need to resist the simplified civilization narratives popular in public discourse and some social theory. He takes the quantitative social sciences and the broad social theories they rely on to task for their inability to question Western cultural presuppositions, demonstrating that anthropology's comparative approach provides a better means to understand societies. This capacity stems from anthropology's engagement with diversity, its fragmentary approach to studying social life, and its ability to translate difference between cultures. Through essays on topics as varied as iconoclasm, urban poverty, Muslim immigration, and social exclusion van der Veer highlights the ways that studying the particular and the unique allows for gaining a deeper knowledge of the whole without resorting to simple generalizations that elide and marginalize difference.
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The Value of Critique
Exploring the Interrelations of Value, Critique, and Artistic Labour
Edited by Isabelle Graw and Christoph Menke
Campus Verlag, 2019
The Value of Critique casts its gaze on the two dominant modes of passing judgment in art—critique and value (or evaluation). The act of critique has long held sway in the world of art theory but has recently been increasingly abandoned in favor of evaluation, which advocates alternate modes of judgment aimed at finding the intrinsic “value” of a given work rather than picking apart its intentions and relative success. This book’s contributors explore the relationship between these two practices, finding that one cannot exist with the other. As soon as a critic decides an object is worthy enough of their interest and time to critique it, they have imbued that object with a certain value. Similarly, theories of value are typically marked by a critical impetus: as much as critique takes part in the construction of evaluations, bestowing something with value can then trigger critiques. Assembling essays from an international array of authors, this book is the first to put value, critique, and artistic labor in conversation with one another, making clear just how closely all three are related.
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The Value of Homelessness
Managing Surplus Life in the United States
Craig Willse
University of Minnesota Press, 2015

It is all too easy to assume that social service programs respond to homelessness, seeking to prevent and understand it. The Value of Homelessness, however, argues that homelessness today is an effect of social services and sciences, which shape not only what counts as such but what will?or ultimately won’t?be done about it. 

Through a history of U.S. housing insecurity from the 1930s to the present, Craig Willse traces the emergence and consolidation of a homeless services industry. How to most efficiently allocate resources to control ongoing insecurity has become the goal, he shows, rather than how to eradicate the social, economic, and political bases of housing needs. Drawing on his own years of work in homeless advocacy and activist settings, as well as interviews conducted with program managers, counselors, and staff at homeless services organizations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, Willse provides the first analysis of how housing insecurity becomes organized as a governable social problem.

An unprecedented and powerful historical account of the development of contemporary ideas about homelessness and how to manage homelessness, The Value of Homelessness offers new ways for students and scholars of social work, urban inequality, racial capitalism, and political theory to comprehend the central role of homelessness in governance and economy today.


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The Value of Labor
The Science of Commodification in Hungary, 1920-1956
Martha Lampland
University of Chicago Press, 2016
At the heart of today’s fierce political anger over income inequality is a feature of capitalism that Karl Marx famously obsessed over: the commodification of labor. Most of us think wage-labor economics is at odds with socialist thinking, but as Martha Lampland explains in this fascinating look at twentieth-century Hungary, there have been moments when such economics actually flourished under socialist regimes. Exploring the region’s transition from a capitalist to a socialist system—and the economic science and practices that endured it—she sheds new light on the two most polarized ideologies of modern history.
            Lampland trains her eye on the scientific claims of modern economic modeling, using Hungary’s unique vantage point to show how theories, policies, and techniques for commodifying agrarian labor that were born in the capitalist era were adopted by the socialist regime as a scientifically designed wage system on cooperative farms. Paying attention to the specific historical circumstances of Hungary, she explores the ways economists and the abstract notions they traffic in can both shape and be shaped by local conditions, and she compellingly shows how labor can be commodified in the absence of a labor market. The result is a unique account of economic thought that unveils hidden but necessary continuities running through the turbulent twentieth century. 
 
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The Value of Life
Biological Diversity And Human Society
Stephen R. Kellert
Island Press, 1996

The Value of Life is an exploration of the actual and perceived importance of biological diversity for human beings and society. Stephen R. Kellert identifies ten basic values, which he describes as biologically based, inherent human tendencies that are greatly influenced and moderated by culture, learning, and experience. Drawing on 20 years of original research, he considers:

  • the universal basis for how humans value nature
  • differences in those values by gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, and geographic location
  • how environment-related activities affect values
  • variation in values relating to different species
  • how vlaues vary across cultures
  • policy and management implications
Throughout the book, Kellert argues that the preservation of biodiversity is fundamentally linked to human well-being in the largest sense as he illustrates the importance of biological diversity to the human sociocultural and psychological condition.
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The Value of Names and Other Plays
Jeffrey Sweet
Northwestern University Press, 2008

Spanning a quarter of a century, this collection of plays demonstrates author Jeffrey Sweet’s eye for the drama of human relationships. Sweet works with sensitivity and irony to confront both personal politics and the impact of historical change. These nine works, taken together, present a playwright who extends the struggles of his small circles of characters to his audience and humanity in general.

The title work, first mounted in 1982, is a comedy-drama about the aftermath of the blacklist whose continued relevance makes it a frequently produced play today. The family drama Porch suggests larger social changes through the interaction of a small-town shopkeeper and his defiant daughter. The lauded American Enterprise, set in the Chicago of the robber barons, is a song-filled true story about a millionaire whose stubborn idealism leads to disaster. Stay Till Morning is a rueful comedy about sex and accommodation in the Florida Keys. The three plays that grew out of his fascination with the effects of World War II­—Berlin ’45, Court-Martial at Fort Devens,­ and The Action Against Sol Schumann—dramatize the ways in which that conflict transformed private fates. Each script is accompanied by an extended introduction from the playwright as well as complete performance notes.

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The Value of Things
Prehistoric to Contemporary Commodities in the Maya Region
Edited by Jennifer P. Mathews and Thomas H. Guderjan
University of Arizona Press, 2017

Jade, stone tools, honey and wax, ceramics, rum, land. What gave these commodities value in the Maya world, and how were those values determined? What factors influenced the rise and fall of a commodity’s value? The Value of Things examines the social and ritual value of commodities in Mesoamerica, providing a new and dynamic temporal view of the roles of trade of commodities and elite goods from the prehistoric Maya to the present.

Editors Jennifer P. Mathews and Thomas H. Guderjan begin the volume with a review of the theoretical literature related to the “value of things.” Throughout the volume, well-known scholars offer chapters that examine the value of specific commodities in a broad time frame—from prehistoric, colonial, and historic times to the present. Using cases from the Maya world on both the local level and the macro-regional, contributors look at jade, agricultural products (ancient and contemporary), stone tools, salt, cacao (chocolate), honey and wax, henequen, sugarcane and rum, land, ceramic (ancient and contemporary), and contemporary tourist handicrafts.

Each chapter author looks into what made their specific commodity valuable to ancient, historic, and contemporary peoples in the Maya region. Often a commodity’s worth goes far beyond its financial value; indeed, in some cases, it may not even be viewed as something that can be sold. Other themes include the rise and fall in commodity values based on perceived need, rarity or overproduction, and change in available raw materials; the domestic labor side of commodities, including daily life of the laborers; and relationships between elites and nonelites in production.

Examining, explaining, and theorizing how people ascribe value to what they trade, this scholarly volume provides a rich look at local and regional Maya case studies through centuries of time.

Contributors:

Rani T. Alexander
Dean E. Arnold
Timothy Beach
Briana Bianco
Steven Bozarth
Tiffany C. Cain
Scott L. Fedick
Thomas H. Guderjan
John Gust
Eleanor Harrison-Buck
Brigitte Kovacevich
Samantha Krause
Joshua J. Kwoka
Richard M. Leventhal
Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach
Jennifer P. Mathews
Heather McKillop
Allan D. Meyers
Gary Rayson
Mary Katherine Scott
E. Cory Sills

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Virtue, Fortune, and Faith
A Genealogy of Finance
Marieke de Goede
University of Minnesota Press, 2005
Less than two centuries ago finance - today viewed as the center of economic necessity and epitome of scientific respectability - stood condemned as disreputable fraud. How this change in status came about, and what it reveals about the nature of finance, is the story told in Virtue, Fortune, and Faith. A unique cultural history of modern financial markets from the early eighteenth century to the present day, the book offers a genealogical reading of the historical insecurities, debates, and controversies that had to be purged from nascent credit practices in order to produce the image of today's coherent and - largely - rational global financial sphere. Marieke de Goede discusses moral, religious, and political transformations that have slowly naturalized the domain of finance. Using a deft integration of feminist and poststructuralist approaches, her book demonstrates that finance - not just its rules of personal engagement, but also its statistics, formulas, instruments, and institutions - is a profoundly cultural and politically contingent practice. When closely examined, the history of finance is one of colonial conquest, sexual imagination, constructions of time, and discourses of legitimate (or illegitimate) profit making. Regardless, this history has had a far-reaching impact on the development of the modern international financial institutions that act as the stewards of the world's economic resources. De Goede explores the political contestations over ideas of time and money; the gendered discourse of credit and credibility; differences among gambling, finance, and speculation; debates over the proper definition of the free market; the meaning of financial crisis; and the morality of speculation. In an era when financial practices are pronounced too specialized for broad-based public, democratic debate, Virtue, Fortune, and Faith questions assumptions about international finance's unchallenged position and effectively exposes its ambiguous scientific authority.
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Writing on the Move
Migrant Women and the Value of Literacy
Rebecca Lorimer Leonard
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
Winner, 2019 CCCC Outstanding Book Award
Honorable Mention, 2018 Coalition of the Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric & Composition Winifred Bryan Horner Award

In this book, Rebecca Lorimer Leonard shows how multilingual migrant women both succeed and struggle in their writing contexts. Based on a qualitative study of everyday multilingual writers in the United States, she shows how migrants’ literacies are revalued because they move with writers among their different languages and around the world. Writing on the Move builds a theory of literate valuation, in which socioeconomic values shape how multilingual migrant writers do or do not move forward in their lives. The book details the complicated reality of multilingual literacy, which is lived at the nexus of prejudice, prestige, and power.
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