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Hostile Worlds or Connected Lives? Research on the Interplay Between Intimacy and Economy


Economic sociologists have devoted most of their attention to the activities of individuals and firms in markets. However, recent attempts have pushed for a better understanding of the relationship between intimacy and economy. Such efforts have been inspired, in large part, by Viviana Zelizer (2000, 2005). In her inquiry on the purchase of intimacy, Zelizer proposed seminal differentiations between the "hostile worlds," "nothing but," and "connected lives" perspectives, and advanced a cultural relational analysis of the economy. In this essay, we review research that applies Zelizer's framework, and suggest substantive and analytical avenues for future research on economy/intimacy nexus.

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