For Both Love and Money: Viviana Zelizer's 'The Purchase of Intimacy'

Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 34, pp. 1017-1037, 2009

U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-26

22 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2009 Last revised: 7 Dec 2009

See all articles by Martha M. Ertman

Martha M. Ertman

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Date Written: July 10, 2009

Abstract

Viviana Zelizer's recent book, The Purchase of Intimacy (2005) presents an innovative theory of how social and legal actors negotiate rights and obligations when money changes hands in intimate relationships -- a perspective that could change how we understand many things, from valuations of homemaking labor to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. This essay describes Zelizer's critique of the reductionist "Hostile Worlds" and "Nothing But" approaches to economic exchange in intimate relationships, then explains her more three-dimensional approach, "Connected Lives." While Zelizer focuses on family law, the essay goes beyond that context, extending Zelizer's approach to transfers of genetic material, and concluding that her approach could point toward a more equitable resolution of disputes in and about these markets.

Keywords: intimate relationships, economic exchange, dispute resolution, biolaw

Suggested Citation

Ertman, Martha M., For Both Love and Money: Viviana Zelizer's 'The Purchase of Intimacy' (July 10, 2009). Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 34, pp. 1017-1037, 2009; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1406626

Martha M. Ertman (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States

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