Real Estate, Power, and Place Reading Questions

In the excerpt from Logan and Molotch’s book, Urban Fortunes, Logan and Molotch talk about the “use values” and the “exchange values” of places. Write about a case in which the use values and exchange values of an object or a place are not the same. Choose one of the following questions if you need further assistance in thinking about what to write:

  1. Do you possess an object that has a unique use value for you (for example, a sentimental attachment, or a function that is particularly valuable to you) that is not reflected by a greater exchange value? In other words, do you possess objects that wouldn’t be worth selling on Ebay, because their value to you is greater than the objective, monetary worth that they would draw in an open market?
  2. What are the use values that your neighborhood holds for you? What are the exchange values that it holds for others? If you owned your apartment or house, and were going to sell it, are there qualities of the property that would be difficult or impossible to ‘put a price on’?

One thought on “Real Estate, Power, and Place Reading Questions

  1. As we may already know, land value in NYC is expensive and valuable(maybe). The authors in this text see land values as critical to the growth of a city. Houses particularly are commodities and used to generate profit for the government as well as the homeowner. They carry a special exchange value that ultimately cannot be produced as quickly as average commodities like hair products. I do possess commodities that are not worth selling because they have much more meaning than just profit. Gold jewelry and antique items in my garage are not special exchange items but certainly are can offer exchange value. Some people however use famous paintings solely for monetary benefits in the context of the art market, others can see true worth of some paintings and only see it as having use value.


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