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International Review of Sociology
Revue Internationale de Sociologie
Volume 27, 2017 - Issue 1
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‘Think twice’: using economics and sociology to understand monetary issues–The case of Switzerland

Pages 160-178 | Received 20 Jan 2016, Accepted 20 Jul 2016, Published online: 08 Sep 2016


This paper seeks to demonstrate to what extent an academic approach that borrows from economics and sociology is heuristic in terms of fully understanding monetary issues. Contrary to authors that consider money to be neutral, this article emphasizes that money is a ‘total social fact’. Hence, it focuses on three meanings of money through the theoretical framework of Schumpeter and various French institutionalists. It also focuses on the Swiss case, which is particularly relevant because money plays a significant role in order for such a country to foster prosperity and create social links. Finally, there is clearly a high usefulness of a pluralistic approach on the monetary issue for heterodox economists.

Notes on contributors

Guillaume Vallet holds two PhDs, one in economics and the other in sociology. He is Associate Professor of economics at the University of Grenoble-Alpes (France), and associate researcher at the Institute of Sociological Research in Geneva (Switzerland) and at the CADIS in Paris (France). His main fields of research are on the Swiss economy and monetary system, particularly within the context of the European perspective, and on the history of economic thought, in particular the work of Albion W. Small.

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