This Übung looks at the moral values that shaped economic practice in utopian communities in nineteenth and twentieth century America. It ties to the current debate on “moralizing capitalism”, “new histories” and “unconventional histories” in modern American economic history. In the first part of the class, we will discuss the theoretical and methodological literature on moral economies. The second part will consist of case studies looking at concrete examples, ranging from fundamentalist religious groups to hippie communes.

Recommended reading:

Stefan Berger/Alexandra Przyrembel (Hg.): Moralizing Capitalism. Agents, Discourses and Practices of Capitalism and Anti-Capitalism in the Modern Age 2019.

Paul J. Zak: Moral Markets. The Critical Role of Values in the Economy. Princeton 2008.

Beckert, Sven, and Christine Desan, eds. American Capitalism: New Histories. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018.

Semester: SoSe 2021