THINKING ABOUT MONEY (and people) is never a purely scientific task! Rather, some poetics and fantasy are expedient, too – at least if we are to address not only what money is but also what it can be or become!


LOOKING INTO THE MIRROR of the human other is so compelling precisely because what you’ll get is not differences in the first place but another utopia of yourself – imagine how powerful an agenda for progress, innovation, and self-transformation this is!

Economic Anthropologist

Location: Munich, Germany
Contact:  jens.zickgraf@moneyness.info



Welcome! I am Jens M. Zickgraf – an economic anthropologist who lives and works in southern Germany.  Dedicated to the fascinating topic of money, moneyness.info is my personal blog and archive.

 I am particularly interested in:

  • payment as “act” and “performance”, (social) aesthetics of money
  • monetary and financial inclusion
  • personhood and monetary capacity
  • (informal) financial landscapes and infrastructures
  • monetization (the process and the narrative)
  • payment technology
  • historical variations, contemporary cultures, future and potentials of money
  • Money in India and in particular the South Indian Nilgiri Hills

The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter once noted that „views on money are as difficult to describe as shifting clouds“ (Schumpeter 1994 [1954]: 289).
For some people money is the root of all evil. For others it is truly empowering and liberating. Some think of money as an extra-social object, imbued with intrinsic power. And for yet others it’s just a neutral tool of exchange. Some trace the origin of money in barter; others in gifts and credit or religion and sacrifice, or in nationalism and bureaucracy. However, money is just as multiple as it remains ideologically charged and designable in terms of functions, validity and appearance. Money, after all is not really a thing, but a process in social and cultural life. It’s definitely one oft the most persistent means of human integration, but as such it remains sort of a mystery.

That’s why I have chosen the morphological variation of “moneyness” as the name for this blog. For me money is simply what we share in the name of value. That’s why I think it is better to address money in qualitative, contextual and relational terms and to look at the many ways in which monies (plural) get realized. Indeed, this becomes more vital as the world of money is rapidly changing today and as both financial markets and new payment technologies connect persons, data, goods, monies and transactions in rather unexpected ways.

On that score I’ll keep moneyness.info as a pinboard to share some personal thoughts, some impressions and some work in progress. Some of my first posts present bits and pieces of “Rupees in the Dollar Zone” – a research project which focuses on monetary culture in South India. In the course of time you may find much more.


Thanks for visting!

(Jens M. Zickgraf, 25.08.2017)



Schumpeter Joseph A. 1994 [1954]. History of Economic Analysis. Twelfth impression with a new introduction by Mark Perlman. Oxon, Routledge.

More on moneyness
rupees in the Dollarzone