The purchase of intimacy

Research output: Book/ReportBook

512 Scopus citations

Abstract

In their personal lives, people consider it essential to separate economics and intimacy. We have, for example, a long-standing taboo against workplace romance, while we see marital love as different from prostitution because it is not a fundamentally financial exchange. InThe Purchase of Intimacy, Viviana Zelizer mounts a provocative challenge to this view. Getting to the heart of one of life's greatest taboos, she shows how we all use economic activity to create, maintain, and renegotiate important ties--especially intimate ties--to other people. In everyday life, we invest intense effort and worry to strike the right balance. For example, when a wife's income equals or surpasses her husband's, how much more time should the man devote to household chores or child care? Sometimes legal disputes arise. Should the surviving partner in a same-sex relationship have received compensation for a partner's death as a result of 9/11?

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherPrinceton University Press
ISBN (Print)0691124086, 9780691124087
StatePublished - Feb 9 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Zelizer, V. A. (2009). The purchase of intimacy. Princeton University Press.