THE GIFT THE FORM AND REASON FOR EXCHANGE IN ARCHAIC SOCIETIES

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The Gift

Author : Marcel Mauss
ISBN : 9781136896842
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34.72 MB
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First published in 1990. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Category: Social Science

The Gift The Form And Reason For Exchange In Archaic Societies

Author : Marcel Mauss
ISBN : 1618952331
Genre : Art
File Size : 50.37 MB
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The Gift is a short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss that is the foundation of social theories of reciprocity and gift exchange. Mauss's original piece was entitled Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l'Echange dans les sociEtEs archaIques ("An essay on the gift: the form and reason of exchange in archaic societies") and was originally published in L'AnnEe Sociologique in 1925. The essay was later republished in French in 1950 and translated into English in 1954 by Ian Cunnison, in 1990 by W. D. Halls, and in 2016 by Jane I. Guyer. Mauss's essay focuses on the way that the exchange of objects between groups builds relationships between humans. It analyzes the economic practices of various so-called archaic societies and finds that they have a common central practice centered on reciprocal exchange. In them, he finds evidence contrary to the presumptions of modern Western societies about the history and nature of exchange. He shows that early exchange systems center around the obligations to give, to receive, and, most importantly, to reciprocate. They occur between groups, not only individuals, and they are a crucial part of "total phenomena" that work to build not just wealth and alliances but social solidarity because "the gift" pervades all aspects of the society. He uses a comparative method, drawing upon published secondary scholarship on peoples from around the world, but especially the Pacific Northwest (especially potlatch). After examining the reciprocal gift-giving practices of each, he finds in them common features, despite some variation. From the disparate evidence, he builds a case for a foundation to human society based on collective (vs. individual) exchange practices. In so doing, he refutes the English tradition of liberal thought, such as utilitarianism, as distortions of human exchange practices. He concludes by speculating that social welfare programs may be recovering some aspects of the morality of the gift within modern market economies. (wikipedia.org)
Category: Art

A General Theory Of Magic

Author : Marcel Mauss
ISBN : 9781134522231
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 61.8 MB
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First written by Marcel Mauss and Henri Humbert in 1902, A General Theory of Magic gained a wide new readership when republished by Mauss in 1950. As a study of magic in 'primitive' societies and its survival today in our thoughts and social actions, it represents what Claude Lévi-Strauss called, in an introduction to that edition, the astonishing modernity of the mind of one of the century's greatest thinkers. The book offers a fascinating snapshot of magic throughout various cultures as well as deep sociological and religious insights still very much relevant today. At a period when art, magic and science appear to be crossing paths once again, A General Theory of Magic presents itself as a classic for our times.
Category: Social Science

World Of The Gift

Author : Jacques T. Godbout
ISBN : 9780773567320
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 66.71 MB
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The anthropologist Marcel Mauss, in his famous exploration of the gift in "primitive" and archaic societies, showed that the essential aspect of the exchange of presents involved the establishment of a social tie that bound the parties together above and beyond any material value of the objects exchanged. He argued that these intangible mutual "debts" constituted the social fabric. Godbout and Caillé show that, contrary to the modern assumption that societies function on the basis of market exchange and the pursuit of self-interest, the gift still constitutes the foundation of our social fabric. The authors describe the gift not as an object but as a social connection, perhaps the most important social connection because it creates a sense of obligation to respond in kind. They examine the gift in a broad range of cases such as blood and organ donation; volunteer work; the bonds between friends, couples, and family; Santa Claus; the interaction between performers and their audience; and the relation of the artist to society. Written in an engaging manner, The World of the Gift will appeal to anyone who is interested in how the world really operates.
Category: Social Science

Money And The Morality Of Exchange

Author : Jonathan Parry
ISBN : 0521367743
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 73.82 MB
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This collection is concerned with the symbolic representation of money in a range of different societies, and more specifically with the moral evaluation of monetary and commercial exchanges. It focuses on the different cultural meanings surrounding monetary transactions, emphasizing the enormous cultural variation in the way money is symbolized and how this symbolism relates to culturally constructed notions of production, consumption, circulation, and exchange.
Category: Social Science

Inalienable Possessions

Author : Annette B. Weiner
ISBN : 0520911806
Genre : Social Science
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Inalienable Possessions tests anthropology's traditional assumptions about kinship, economics, power, and gender in an exciting challenge to accepted theories of reciprocity and marriage exchange. Focusing on Oceania societies from Polynesia to Papua New Guinea and including Australian Aborigine groups, Annette Weiner investigates the category of possessions that must not be given or, if they are circulated, must return finally to the giver. Reciprocity, she says, is only the superficial aspect of exchange, which overlays much more politically powerful strategies of "keeping-while-giving." The idea of keeping-while-giving places women at the heart of the political process, however much that process may vary in different societies, for women possess a wealth of their own that gives them power. Power is intimately involved in cultural reproduction, and Weiner describes the location of power in each society, showing how the degree of control over the production and distribution of cloth wealth coincides with women's rank and the development of hierarchy in the community. Other inalienable possessions, whether material objects, landed property, ancestral myths, or sacred knowledge, bestow social identity and rank as well. Calling attention to their presence in Western history, Weiner points out that her formulations are not limited to Oceania. The paradox of keeping-while-giving is a concept certain to influence future developments in ethnography and the theoretical study of gender and exchange.
Category: Social Science

The Gift Economy

Author : David Cheal
ISBN : 9781317401322
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 63.81 MB
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Until recently we have known more about gift giving practices in pre-industrial societies than about those of industrial western society. In this book, first published in 1988, David Cheal shows that the process of present giving and receiving is a vital element in contemporary social life, relevant to some of the most important theoretical traditions in sociology, particularly those of Durkheim and Weber, and to the social constructionism of Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. This volume is the result of a major study of gift rituals carried out by David Cheal and his associates in which general themes are richly illustrated with details from individual case histories gathered during the research. It is highly significant that in western society women are more active gift givers than men and, while their voices explain how emotions and interests are interrelated within the gift economy, the author shows how that in turn is related to current theories about family, gender and religion.
Category: Social Science

Totemism

Author : Claude Lévi-Strauss
ISBN : 080704671X
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 87.8 MB
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An examination of the beliefs encompassed by totemism.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Economies And Cultures

Author : Richard R Wilk
ISBN : 9780429974892
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 69.72 MB
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This synthesis of modern economic anthropology goes to the heart of a thriving subdiscipline and identifies the fundamental practical and theoretical problems that give economic anthropology its unique strengths and vision. More than any other anthropological subdiscipline, economic anthropology constantly questions and debates the practical motives of people as they go about their daily lives. Tracing the history of the dialogue between anthropology and economics, the authors move economic anthropology beyond the narrow concerns of earlier debates and place the field directly at the centre of current issues in the social sciences. They focus on the unique strengths of economic anthropology as a meeting place for symbolic and materialist approaches and for understanding human beings as both practical and cultural. In so doing, the authors argue for the wider relevance of economic anthropology to applied anthropology and identify other avenues for interaction with economics, sociology, and other social and behavioural sciences. The second edition of Economies and Cultures contains an entirely new chapter on gifts and exchange that critically approaches the new literature in this area, as well as a thoroughly updated bibliography and guide for students for finding case studies in economic anthropology.
Category: Social Science

Structural Anthropology

Author : Claude Levi-strauss
ISBN : 0786724439
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 61.76 MB
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The “structural method,” first set forth in this epoch-making book, changed the very face of social anthropology. This reissue of a classic will reintroduce readers to Lévi-Strauss’s understanding of man and society in terms of individuals—kinship, social organization, religion, mythology, and art.
Category: Social Science