Social and Emotional Values Attached to Money – Essay

Traditionally, it is considered that money produces a significant impact on human life, shaping individuals’ views, and defining their lifestyle. Unquestionably, money can change human life either for good or for bad. Often social status of an individual is defined by his/her wealth. On the other hand, money also affects emotional sphere since the financial position of an individual is closely related to his/her psychological state. This is why it is possible to estimate that money possesses certain emotional and social sphere. No wonder, the problem of the effect money produces on individuals have been in the focus of attention of people for centuries that resulted in the creation of numerous works of art, such as movies, books, paintings, and in scientific works as well.

Probably it will remain the eternal theme of discussions and debates since from the early stages of development, from individuals’ childhood, money plays a significant role in the formation of their life attitudes. It forms human values and future aims and influences decisions people take in their life. In this respect, it is extremely important to trace the effect of money on the family life, notably on the development of children till their adulthood and the book “Money, a Memoir” by Liz Perle may be very helpful in understanding this profound effect.

It is not a secret that children tend to either copy their parents’ life views or have totally different views. Consequently, it is quite natural that parent’s attitude to money directly, or indirectly affect children. This is why it is quite useful, while analyzing the impact of money on the formation of individuals’ social and emotional values since childhood, to refer to the book “Money, a Memoir” by Liz Perle. In this book, the author uses her own experience and her own investigations dealing with money, including the difficulties of divorce. She describes the differences between people through money. Our habits in spending money directly influence the attitude to life, the way of children’s upbringing. Much depends on how mothers spoil their children or on the contrary keep them down in their desires and needs. In this way Perle explores the value of money in modern society. She tries to find out how the traditional meaning of money changes in the course of time.

In such a context it is possible to refer to the works of Viviana Zelizer who attempted to trace the socio-cultural changes and the value of children in human society. Nowadays, it seems to be quite shocking that, unlike nowadays, when we discuss the value of money in relation to children only in the context of its positive or negative impact on children’s development, Zelizer reveals the facts that just a bit more than a century ago the value of children life could be equivalent to certain sum of money, when parents demanded money compensation for their killed children or even offered their own children instead of killed ones in the result of accident, for instance.

As for Liz Perle, she also underlines the significant impact of money on children-parents relationships, and it is even possible to trace certain correlations between present epoch and the past, when children’s life were equivalent of certain sum of money, since, as the author underlines, children often become a subject of money-related trade in the case of divorce, for instance. To put it more precisely, the author refers to her experience, as she divorced and was left without work. She had her lovely daughter and a box with toys. From this time she begins to observe her life from financial point of view. She starts to analyze her sad past and no hope for happy wealthy future probably. However she decided to struggle, not to lose courage and not to keep silence. She supplied her “Memoirs” with personal experience for psychological research, adding hundred life troubles of other women. She analyzed the influence of money on our relationships between people. Her book helps to understand how money forms our life views, how they improve of spoil our emotional state. This book is a good addition to numerous researches on money, numerous discussions and articles. It may help to understand the problem thoroughly and to think over the ways to solve it.

No wonder, Liz admits that in today’s world money causes more troubles. Luxury has probably become a need of everybody in our fast-moving world. With the development of high technologies we have to use modern devices not to feel old-fashioned. It certainly depends on a person, on what he actually needs from life but it also inevitable influences the development of an individual since his/her childhood.

The author argues that some parents make their children earn pocket-money. Certain household chores may cost certain amount of money. However this may make child too calculating. It’s important to teach a child how to use finances properly, how to regulate personal income. From the early age children should be taught not to steal or get money in some other filthy way but, on the other hand, pocket-money increases the social value of money for children to the extent that money is transformed in a kind of fetish.

In this respect, it is possible to refer to Baily’s works in which she underlines that the modern society is characterized by the creation of new values which overshadow the value of money. Notably, Beth Bailey states that the modern youth values dates more than money and they cannot be even compared to money’s value. It means that the interpersonal, intimate communication overshadow the importance of money and provides youngsters with the opportunity to shape essential emotional and social attitudes, regardless money. Consequently, money may be valued as the means of exchange and certain criterion of the measurement of the value of products, while, on the other hand, money may have a symbolic value and are rather the product of cultural sphere than material one. In this respect, it should be pointed out that Raymond Boudon underlines that rationalist theories which, according to him, are more scientifically valid than culturalist ones.

Nonetheless, Liz Perle insists that the deprival of pocket money may lead to certain hostility towards parents, poor relations between children, bad reputation, let alone personal dissatisfaction. As she writes in her book, after the divorce she experienced many hardships because of money. She lost not only husband, but also work. In such a way, she lost income.

But she had to this of her little daughter who needs to grow in proper conditions. So, Perle had to decide what to do and how to improve the situation. Some women may become desperate and just give up. Others like Liz Perle will struggle to the end.

It becomes especially important in modern world when parents supply their children with mobile phones, computers and other inventions of high technologies. Moreover children start to possess them in early age, just to copy adults. A child deprived of these conveniences would become sort of weird outcast. But on the other side a child shouldn’t be spoilt as well. Constant allowance may cause undesirable consequences. Children can grow cruel, avaricious, careless to people around.

Some people tend to consider wealthy people being free. As they can afford buying whatever they want and go wherever they like, they naturally seem to lead a free life. However all that money, possessions, cars and splendid houses, they need to have proper security. They need to think of safety all the time. They have to risk their business, and often life to feel safety. It doesn’t seem to be easy. It puts certain obstacles, which hinder to feel complete happiness.

Consequently, money, as a guarantee of wealth and stability, can contribute to the wider opportunities for children to develop, receive higher education, find a well-paid job and become a modern progressively thinking people. At this point, it is worthy of mention that Roy Bhaskar underlines that the world poverty is one of the major problems the mankind is currently facing that, naturally, increases the value of money as the essential element of the minimization of the negative effects of the world poverty.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that money play an extremely important role in the life of people and money accompany us from the date of our birth. Willingly or not each individual is affected by money but, in this respect, the extent to which money can influence the development of children in humanistic and independent personalities, depends on parents. As Lize Perle shows in her book the role of parents and their dependence on the material well-being can define the future life of children shaping their social and emotional attitudes on the basis of money. Nonetheless, as many sociologists, including those mentioned in terms of this paper, state this problem is not new but, nevertheless, it does not necessarily mean that people are totally dependent on money. In stark contrast, people create real values, including those of money.

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