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The Social Construction of Money: A Theatrical Classroom Exercise
A pocket with cash and a credit card
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social construction

How to Cite

Meiser, Ellen. 2023. “The Social Construction of Money: A Theatrical Classroom Exercise”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, May. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


“The Social Construction of Money” is a brief classroom activity for undergraduate Sociology courses that offers a theatric opportunity for instructors to initiate a class discussion about social constructs (and processes of social construction) using the topic of fiat money. This activity can be used in in-person and online synchronous courses, and—...

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Subject Area(s):
Economic Sociology, High School Sociology, Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity, Lecture
Class Level(s):
College 100, College 200, High School
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes


This activity was created for a synchronous, in-person 100-level introductory Principles of Sociology course , however it can also be used in an online synchronous course. Instructions on how to adapt this resource to online courses are included in materials. 



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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Reinforce students’ understanding of the social construction of reality through the example of money.
  2. Review key introductory-level sociological concepts through critical classroom discussion.
  3. Imaginatively apply sociological levels of analysis (i.e., micro-, mezzo-, and macro-perspectives) to students’ lived experiences in a memorable manner.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Learning goals are assessed via a class discussion that touches on key concepts typically learned in Introduction to Sociology courses—namely norms, institutions, global structures, social constructs, and socialization— as well as spans micro-, mezzo-, and macro-lenses. (This discussion prompt begins on the bottom of Page 3.)

    All students should...

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Requires Subscription DOCX

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