Book Talk – New Money: How Payment Became Social Media by Lana Swartz

January 26, 2021

1pm Virtual

Please register for the event here.

Join us for a discussion with Lana Swartz, 2020-21 USC Berggruen Fellow, about her new book New Money: How Payment Became Social Media (Yale, 2020).

About New Money: How Payment Became Social Media:
One of the basic structures of everyday life, money is at its core a communication medium. Payment systems—cash, card, app, or Bitcoin—are informational and symbolic tools that integrate us into, or exclude us from, the society that surrounds us. Examining the social politics of financial technologies, Lana Swartz reveals what’s at stake when we pay.

This accessible and insightful analysis comes at a moment of disruption: from “fintech” startups to cryptocurrencies, a variety of technologies are poised to unseat traditional financial infrastructures. Swartz explains these changes, traces their longer histories, and demonstrates their consequences, showing just how important these invisible systems are. Getting paid and paying determines whether or not you can put food on the table. The data that payment produces is uniquely revelatory—and newly valuable. New forms of money create new forms of identity, new forms of community, and new forms of power.

Introduced by:
Viviana Zelizer, Princeton

Lana Swartz, Berggruen Fellow
Mike Ananny, USC
Finn Brunton, UC Davis
Caitlin Zaloom, NYU

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This event is presented by the USC Dornsife Center on Science, Technology and Public Life and the Berggruen Institute Fellows Program.