Financial Arrangement as a Reflection of Household Order
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Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
Publication date: 2016-12-28
Polish Sociological Review 2016;196(4)
Based on ethnographic research in 28 young middle-class households in Warsaw, this paper examines the money practices of couples living together, including how they set rules for budgeting, spending, and saving money. Drawing from practice theory and working with evidence gathered among young Poles, the paper shows how the couples jointly create a financial arrangement and then ground it in daily practices, transform it, and adjust it to changing circumstances. As the partners share a practical understanding and the rules are intelligible to each of them, this arrangement reflects the current order in the given household. By reconstructing the explicit or tacit beliefs as to why certain money practices are appropriate, desirable, acceptable, or completely inadmissible, this paper argues that everyday money practices are moral in nature and that a financial arrangement requires moral justification.
For helpful comments, I would like to thank Mateusz Halawa, Mikołaj Pawlak, and Iwona Zielińska, as well as two anonymous reviewers from the Polish Sociological Review.
This text was written as part of the research project “Practices of handling money in close relationships in young family households” financed by the National Science Centre Poland, on the basis of decision DEC 2013/09/B/HS6/03426.
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