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Do you ever wonder why some people run away from money, while others chase after it? Or why some who have unlimited disposable income prefer to buy their clothes at Goodwill, while others who are in debt shop at Gucci? And why do spouses, parents, and children seldom agree on how to manage money?
Money and property are among the most pervasive forces in modern life, not just in English-speaking societies, but throughout the world. Our personal relationships with money are as much about psychology as they are about economics, about communication and symbolism, about buying and selling.
Psychologist Dr. Kenneth Doyle advances the concept of money as a talisman by which we protect ourselves from individual fears, such as incompetence, abandonment, disorganization, or constraint, to name but a few. And just as economists rarely address the soft side of money in their theories, psychologists rarely pay attention to the hard side.
This unique course will help you to understand the symbolic meanings of money and the psychological, cultural, economic, social, and political variables that contribute to these meanings. Examples both contemporary and historical will synthesize what psychoanalysis, psychometrics, social science, and brain science tell us about our relationship with money and why we do what we do even when it is not considered rational or in our best interest.
Recommended: Kenneth Doyle, The Social Meanings of Money and Property: In Search of a Talisman (Sage Publications, 1999).
Kenneth Doyle, PhD, University of Minnesota, is an associate professor in the University’s Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is the author/editor of numerous articles and books, including “Ethnicity and Money” and “The Meanings of Money,” American Behavioral Scientist, and The Social Meanings of Money and Property. His most recent book, coauthored with Larry Houk, JD, is Peace of Mind for Your Aging Parents (Praeger, 2018).