Cover of The Sexual Economy of Capitalism by Noam Yuran
The Sexual Economy of Capitalism
Noam Yuran

October 2024
250 pages.
from $30.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503630277
Paperback ISBN: 9781503640733



Economics has long modeled its theories on bakers and butchers rather than husbands, wives, lovers, and prostitutes. This book argues that exchanges involving sex and intimacy, far from being external or exceptional in relation to the workings of the economy, come closest to the reality of capitalist money.

Undertaking an inquiry into the sexual economy of capitalism, Noam Yuran analyzes the erotic and gendered meanings that suffuse basic economic concepts, from money to the commodity. It is not entirely true, Yuran shows, that in capitalism everything has its price. In fact, the category of things money cannot buy, including love, forms a central axis around which capitalist economic life is organized. It is inscribed on goods and economic motivations and conduct, and distinguishes capitalism from precapitalist economies in which marriage was an exchange and wives were owned.

In conversation with psychoanalysis, feminist theory, and the heterodox tradition of economic thought, this book maps the erotic dimension of capitalism onto concrete economic questions around money, goods, private property, and capital. Yuran offers readers a powerful understanding of capitalism in its unique articulation of love, sex, and money.

About the author

Noam Yuran is Senior Lecturer in the Graduate Program in Science, Technology and Society at Bar-Ilan University. He is the author of What Money Wants: An Economy of Desire (Stanford, 2014).

"This book cuts against received wisdom about capitalism. Each chapter brings with it a paradigm-shattering insight that culminates in an unforgettable conclusion."

—Todd McGowan, University of Vermont

"A joy to read, this intellectually stimulating book pushes the limits of our thinking. Its power as a philosophy of capitalism is matched by the power of many local insights produced by Yuran's readings of cultural works and scenes."

—Anat Rosenberg, Reichman University

"It might seem that hardly anything is left unsaid when it comes to sex, money, or capitalism. But this couldn't be more wrong. The Sexual Economy of Capitalism manages to surprise us where we would least expect it. It brims with ideas and concise formulations."

—Alenka Zupančič, The European Graduate School