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
This paper investigates the prices set within the Exchange Network of Chania and tries to examine what prices are attributed to which products and services, how those prices are set and what they reveal about the values of the goods offered. Moreover, the further aim of the paper is to explore the implications of those prices concerning the function of the scheme itself, within the context of the local economy of the Chania area. The data have been gathered during regular visits to the open markets of the scheme since January 2012. Therefore, the paper attempts to contribute original research findings concerning prices in parallel currency schemes and study several important issues which arise in multiple currency practice.
To cite this article: Sotiropoulou, I. (2015) ‘Prices in parallel currency: The case of the exchange network of Chania, Crete’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 128-136 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.013
Financing non-capitalist (public, solidarity and care) economies with current monetary resources raises many economic and environmental problems. This research focuses on the opportunities offered by alternative currencies as a possible solution and discusses their limits. We demonstrate how time-based systems of measure, exchange and credit can foster sustainable financing of non-capitalist economies in a more economically efficient, localised and ecological way. The key is to link them to an average value of labour time, which can significantly widen the power, functions and economic role of alternative currencies. Above all it can foster a new type of universal ecological protection against speculative finance and exploitation of resources, promoting a return to taking care: of ourselves, of others, of our community currencies and the world we live in.
To cite this article: Ruzzene, M. (2015) ‘Beyond growth: problematic relationships between the financial crisis, care and public economies, and alternative currencies’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 81-93 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.009
The literature dealing with LETS has regarded them primarily as economic associations and, in so doing, may have overlooked other features of LETS that are equally important. This paper aims to rectify some of that neglect by focusing upon the motivational values of LETS members. Whilst it has been recognised that a significant proportion of their membership can be identified as ‘Green’, the radical consequences of this membership has been neither fully recognised nor explored. This paper offers a taxonomy that enables us to locate and classify members’ motivations and does so with particular reference to Green ideals. It argues that to dismiss LETS as simply an expression of an alternative lifestyle may ignore the fact that a significant proportion of members are aware of, and wish to promote, the radical Green potential of these schemes. Given the current lack of practical Green alternatives within social policy this potential should not go unrecognised and the paper is presented as an attempt to open up areas for further debate.
To cite this article: Caldwell, C. (2000) ‘Why Do People Join Local Exchange Trading Systems?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 4 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2000.006
A LETS can be described as a non-profit community based trading network that operates by way of a locally created currency, i.e. a locally recognised measure of exchange value as distinct from national currency. LETS’ emergence in the 1980’s, and rapid growth throughout English speaking countries in the 1990’s (Williams 1995), arguably stems from experienced scarcity of money in local communities. According to Jackson (1994), it is primarily a product of developed nations ‘where money has assumed dominance as the medium for exchange’. Considered in the context of contemporary economic developments, LETS also invites regard as localised responses to the globalisation of capital. It was with an eye to the latter, that I undertook this exploration of eight LETS groups in Victoria, Australia.
To cite this article: Ingleby, J. (1998) ‘Local Economic Trading Systems: Potentials for New Communities of Meaning: a brief exploration of eight LETSystems, with a focus on decision making’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 2 ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1998.004