Viviana A Zelizer
The Purchase of Intimacy

I find myself frequently returning to sociologist Viviana Zelizer’s outline of the ways in which economics and intimacy intersect. Confronting contemporary Western culture’s built in social taboos, Zelizer illustrates how threaded economics is into all intimate relationships including familial, romantic and professional. Her particular use of case studies starting from Victorian era through the 20th century indicate that extracting intimacy from economics is a matter of semantics, class and power structures and not an inevitable moral dilemma. The parallel to contemporary sex work discourse is obvious.