The Social and Cultural Capital of Community Currency, An Ithaca HOURS Case Study Survey

In this article the authors report and analyze the data from an interview survey of 42 Ithaca HOURS community currency users. The theoretical context for the study is social capital, and the survey seeks to answer questions centering around the extent the interviewees participate in networks of reciprocity, trust and support. The survey results indicate that the respondents highly value their experiences buying and selling with HOURS, and that it does in fact function as a social capital resource for them. Nevertheless, on average, the respondents’ use of HOURS was modest at best, with $300 to $350, exchanged in the 12 months prior to the survey. Since the exchange in HOURS is dwarfed by the mainstream economy’s circulation of federal dollars, and since the respondents use of HOURS, on average, is only a very small part of their disposable income, the authors sought the significance of the HOURS economy in cultural and symbolic rather than material terms.

Jeffrey Jacob, Merlin Brinkerhoff, Emily Jovic and Gerald Wheatley Volume 8(2004) 4

IJCCR vol 8 (2004) 4 Jacob et al 2

To cite this article: Jacob, J.; Brinkerhoff, M.; Jovic, E.; Wheatley, G. (2004) ‘The Social and Cultural Capital of Community Currency, An Ithaca HOURS Case Study Survey’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 8 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN  1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2004.002

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