Editorial Reviews 'The Gift is quite undeniably the masterwork of Marcel Mauss, his most justly famous writing, and the work whose influence has been the deepest.' A Review Essay KEITH HART Anthropology, Goldsmiths University of London Emile Durkheim assembled a team to promote his vision for sociology, but he and Mauss were in many ways a double act, like Marx and Engels. The Gift: The Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies by Marcel Mauss highlights the concept of gift-giving and reciprocity in several societies. Successful businesses often combine gifts with the more prosaic monetary exchanges. His paper explores the exchange of gifts with reference to Polynesian societies and other primitive societies. Marcel Mauss (1872 - 1950) As well as being a sociologist and anthropologist, Mauss was also a revolutionary socialist. This paper will briefly review his arguments and discuss some critiques that arose from his ideas. Marcel Mauss: In Pursuit of the Whole. He hoped to show that gift-giving precedes mere economic transactions in chronology and significance. Book Review: Marcel Mauss, ‘The Gift’ Marcel Mauss, The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies (trans. Marcel Mauss (1925) elucidates the deep significance of gifts and gift giving in the first chapter of The Gift. It shows that gift‐giving relationship constitutes the fundamental gesture or procedure of public recognition between human groups and that it is what establishes them as uniquely human and capable of forming alliances and conventions. One is the obligation to give. The Gift is surely the most misunderstood work in the history of anthropology. Marcel Mauss is not entirely without blame for this. There are three important constants concerning gifts. Review Quotes. The other is the obligation to receive. W. D. Halls) (Abingdon: Routledge, 2002) Marcel Mauss’ The Gift was originally written as an essay and consequently the published book is quite short, totalling at just over 100 pages not counting the (admittedly very substantial) endnotes. This chapter explains that the gift‐giving Marcel Mauss discussed implies a conception of reciprocity that defines the very core of human relationships. Marcel Mauss’ The Gift is an anthropological study of gifts. There was room for only one leader of the movement, so we speak of the Durkheimians and the Marxists. Today his name is associated with the leading intellectual movement in France, MAUSS. It is a work of notoriously scattershot brilliance; but, as a result, the essay has become a kind of screen for the projection of every sort of fantasy. In Polynesian groups, gift giving is ruled by the concept of mana.
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