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'Value' seems like an elusive and abstract concept. Nonetheless, notions of value underpin how we understand our lives, from discussions about the economic contribution of different kinds of work and productive activity, to the prices we pay for the things we consume. So what is value, and where does it come from?
In this new book, Frederick Harry Pitts charts the past, present and future of value within and beyond capitalist society, critically engaging with key concepts from classical and neoclassical political economy. Interrogating the processes and practices that attribute value to objects and activities, he considers debates over whether value lies within commodities or in their exchange, the politics of different theories of value, and how we measure value in a knowledge-based economy.
This accessible and intriguing introduction to the complexities of value in modern society will be essential reading for any student or scholar working in political economy, economics, economic sociology or management.
|Format:||Paperback / softback, 190 pages||Language:||English|
|Dimension:||137 x 13 x 216mm||ISBN10:||1509535667|
|Weight:||227g||ISBN13:||9781509535668||Publication Date:||18 Dec 2020||Publisher:||Polity Press|
“Clear, comprehensive and critical, Value is a gem of a book for both students and scholars who grapple with the problem of value in economic thought. Harry Pitts's introduction offers well-argued and detailed engagement with central approaches and debates that should not be missed.”Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism“Harry Pitts has written an essential primer on that 'thing' that is central to economics, political economy and the social system they purport to explain – capitalism. Debunking all notions that there is anything scientific or objective about value, Harry teaches why we should understand it as a category of struggle, as 'something' that both emerges out of struggles and operates to fragment and suppress struggles.”David Harvie, co-author of Moments of Excess: Movements, Protest and Everyday Life""Value" is one of the most important concepts in economics, one that Marx deeply focused upon in his analysis of capitalist society. However there is a great deal of disagreement and confusion over the term, even among Marxists. In this handy book, Frederick Harry Pitts reconstructs debates over value within political economy, sociology, and critical theory, carefully weighing the analytical and political implications. Useful both as an introduction to value theory and as a reference for experts, Value is a book I anticipate coming back often as a teaching tool and as an aid for my own work."Gavin Mueller, Verso Books Blog - Authors' Favorite Books of the Year"The book is part of Polity’s fantastic What is Political Economy Series that presents other key concepts such as work, austerity and money. With Value, Pitts gives us a thorough theoretical examination of yet another major concept in economics and social study that has been taken for granted in the often neglected approaches of political economy. Pitts’ voice in the book is authoritative because he demonstrates a solid understanding of wide-ranging theories and disciplines." Zaynab El Bernoussi, Capital & Class
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