The real and its imaginary

Vol. 16 No. 2 (1996)

Apr-Jun / 1996
Published April 1, 1996
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Ribeiro, Renato Janine. 1996. “The Real and Its Imaginary”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 16 (2):165-74.

The real and its imaginary

Renato Janine Ribeiro
Universidade de São Paulo – USP, São Paulo/SP, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 16 No. 2 (1996), Apr-Jun / 1996, Pages 165-174


This paper examines the symbolic character of the Brazilian new currency, the
Real, whose name suggests its ambition of not only represent a value, but to be the reality
itself. Also, the utilization of natural pictures instead of historical ones on the stamp of the
new bills points the wish of giving the character of reality to the currency launched in 1994,
meanwhile shows the inflation as product of a disordered imagination. Therefore, the new
currency symbolic representation matches very well to the political discourse that sustains
the Real.

JEL Classification: Z13; Z19.

Keywords: Real stabilization inflation