Psychological factors influencing the use and development of Complementary Currencies
Carmen Smith, Alan Lewis
University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA27AY, United Kingdom, Email: C.J.Smith@bath.ac.uk; A.Lewis@bath.ac.uk
This paper presents a novel socio-psychological analysis of the motivations and experiences of mutual credit members in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Primary data comprised of interviews and participant observation, supplemented with secondary data analysis of organisation documents, and a review of the literature in psychology, sociology and economics. Group members were motivated to secure personal resilience against hardship, and the personal agency that results from this, along with the experiences of community and cultural identity positioning, motivates engagement. Consequently these groups are defined as cultural communities offering personal resilience to members through informal reciprocity. This approach, which prioritises the social aspects of exchange, has implications for the design of complementary currencies, particularly mutual credit initiatives, and demonstrates the value of engaging with the fields of psychology and sociology in developing interdisciplinary understandings of alternative economic practice.
Complementary currency, mutual credit, sustainability, reciprocity, resilience, community
To cite this article: Smith, C; Lewis, A. (2016) ‘Psychological factors influencing the use and development of Complementary Currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 20 (Summer) 2-23 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2016.001
Timebanking provides an empirical entry point into a better understanding of the discursive strategies used to legitimize alternative currencies. Theoretically this study uses a post-Marxist perspective, particularly the work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Methodologically it uses the mixed methodology of a corpus linguistics approach to critical discourse analysis to examine the websites of 334 timebanks in the United States. Findings include identifying how ideas of strengthening community and social bonds are used by timebanks to construct discursive antagonisms to capitalism. Contributions of this study include extending Laclau and Mouffe’s work on radical political participation to J.K. Gibson-Graham’s conceptualization of economic difference. This study also demonstrates how a corpus linguistics approach to critical discourse analysis allows for deeper understanding of counter-hegemonic discursive strategies used by alternative economic exchanges. Suggestions for future research are provided.
Julie Steinkopf Rice
To cite this article: Rice, J. (2014) ‘A Counter-Hegemonic Discourse of Economic Difference: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Timebanking in the United States’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 18 (A) 1-10 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2014.001
During the world economic crisis of the 1930s, the United States experienced widespread use of local currency or “scrip”. The most significant form of scrip, both in terms of the longevity and size of the issues, was tax anticipation scrip. This article surveys the varieties of tax anticipation scrip issue during this period, and suggests some applications to non-crisis circumstances. After outlining the general experience with depression-era scrip, this article describes the nature and origins of tax anticipation scrip as a particular form of local currency. It also examines specific local arrangements that affected the successful circulation of such scrip. The American jurisprudence concerning non-national currency is assessed insofar as it puts into legal context scrip issued during the 1930s. The article concludes by relating the significance of the American experience of the 1930s to neo-chartalist interpretations of the origins and functions of money.
To cite this article: Gatch, L. (2012) ‘Tax Anticipation Scrip as a Form of Local Currency in the USA during the 1930s’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 22-35 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.009
Although there was no single pattern to the use of alternative currency in America during the Great Depression, the arguments used by supporters of scrip often played on common themes. Support for scrip reflected the belief that local resources could be marshaled to combat the economic situation. Although the Depression was a national (and international) crisis, many scrip advocates believed that they would be able to focus improvement within one particular community. Scrip appealed to American notions of self-help and individualism. Even faced with the challenges of the Depression, few Americans were willing to embrace radical change. Advocates of alternative currency had to walk a fine line between emphasizing the innovative possibilities of scrip and reassuring the public that these plans were simply a means to “prime the pump” of an essentially sound economic system.
To cite this article: Elvins, S. (2012) ‘Selling Scrip To America: Ideology, Self-help and the Experiments of the Great Depression’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 14-21 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.008
For two hundred and sixty years the US federal government has claimed that the most democratic money is a scarce form of money. This claim is built off the notion that an abundant supply of money would threaten class relations (the rights of private property) and ultimately the free flow of commerce (capitalist exchange). Since the writing of the federal constitution the government’s focus has always been on creating reliable and abundant supplies of credit. The idea of scarce money and abundant credit has been challenged twice: In the 1860’s by the Greenback Party who claimed the most democratic money is money created by government. The second challenge in the 1980s by the Community Currency movement uniquely focuses not on banks or government instead claiming that democratic money is money created by local communities and/or individuals.
To cite this article: Wainwright, S. (2012) ‘Democratizing Money: The Historical Role of the U.S. Federal Government in Currency Creation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (D) 5-13 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.007
This paper presents some key and advanced statistical indicators of time bank participation. Unlike printed community currencies, time banks record their exchanges in databases. Such transaction data enables researchers to evaluate member participation in these networks across time. Nonetheless, there is very little published scholarship employing time bank transaction data. Examples from a U.S. time bank are provided. The suggested indicators are intended to encourage coordinators and scholars to study these networks. Coordinators who track their systems can intervene as necessary. Scholars researching individual time banks can use these metrics to facilitate comparisons of multiple cases in order to better assess the efficacy of time banking.
To cite this article: Collom, E. (2012) ‘Key Indicators of Time Bank Participation: Using Transaction Data for Evaluation’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 16 (A) 18-29 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2012.002
This paper described and evaluates a peer to peer mutual credit system now in operation in the State of Vermont. It is called the VBSR Marketplace and is an innovative partnership between a statewide membership association, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) and a currency design and management organization, Vermont Sustainable Exchange (VSE). This project is a significant step forward in the community currency world as it makes participation in a mutual credit system a membership benefit for businesses that belong to an already existing and well-established business association.
Amy Kirschner Volume 15(2011) Special Issue D68-72
To cite this article: Kirschner, A. (2011) ‘A Report from Vermont (USA): The VBSR Marketplace’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 15 (D) 68-72 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2011.024