The social and cultural interpretation of number: a focus on remittances as a currency of care

Singh, S 2008, 'The social and cultural interpretation of number: a focus on remittances as a currency of care', in T. Marjoribanks et al (ed.) Conference Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association - Reimagining Society, Melbourne, Australia, 2-5 December 2008.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title The social and cultural interpretation of number: a focus on remittances as a currency of care
Author(s) Singh, S
Year 2008
Conference name Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 2-5 December 2008
Proceedings title Conference Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association - Reimagining Society
Editor(s) T. Marjoribanks et al
Publisher TASA
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Abstract The calculation of money has been central to the rationality of exchange in the market. Building on work which examines the interpretation rather than the calculation of number, I examine the macro picture of international remittances as one of the largest flows of money to developing countries and the micro perspective of remittances as a currency of care. I focus particularly on the different ways remittances are seen to be valued by the senders and the recipients. Drawing on a qualitative study of 19 direct and 'twice migrants' from India to Australia, I argue that the value of the money sent is different from the value of the money received. This different interpretation of quantum is partly due to ideas about the ease of earning money overseas. It is also because money sent is an expression of caring about and for the person, whereas money received is weighted against the physical caregiving that other members of the family provide in the home country. By using remittances as a lens to examine the interpretation of number, I connect the literatures of migration with the sociology of money.
Subjects Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology
Copyright notice © The authors
ISBN 9780734039842
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