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Saving, spending, and future-making: time, discipline, and money in development

Green, Maia, Kothari, Uma, Mercer, Claire and Mitlin, Diana (2012) Saving, spending, and future-making: time, discipline, and money in development. Environment and Planning A, 44 (7). pp. 1641-1656. ISSN 0308-518X

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Identification Number: 10.1068/a44640


Money is a distributed technology for the government of futures. Using ethnographically informed accounts of social practices around saving and collective remittances in poor countries this paper examines how the malleability of money enables it to have the potential for formalisation which allows it to be brought into formal relations of future-making and foreclosure, at the same time as its potential for investments and reallocation enables it to be the basis of flexible and adaptive strategies of future-making. We show how individuals engaged in development aspirations strive to achieve futures through the collection, care, and use of money, and how strategies of formalisation, discipline, and framing accord money developmental capacities. The liquidity of money renders it a flexible vehicle for personal and collective aspirations while representing risk of leakage to other persons and ventures. The paper examines the strategies used by lowincome savers and hometown associations in their concerns with establishing rules and discipline around the flexibility of money.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Pion
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D9 - Intertemporal Choice and Growth > D91 - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E4 - Money and Interest Rates
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2012 10:10
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 23:09

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