Download The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic by Marcel Mauss PDF

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By Marcel Mauss

During this, his most renowned paintings, Marcel Mauss awarded to the realm a booklet which revolutionized our knowing of a few of the fundamental buildings of society. by way of making a choice on the complicated internet of trade and legal responsibility inquisitive about the act of giving, Mauss referred to as into query lots of our social conventions and monetary platforms. In an international rife with runaway intake, The present maintains to excite and problem.

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Extra resources for The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies (Routledge Classics)

Sample text

Kruyt62 tells us ‘that there the owner must “purchase” from the spirits the right to carry out certain actions on “his” property’, which is really theirs. Before cutting “his” wood, before even tilling “his” soil or planting the upright post of “his” house, the gods must be paid. Whereas the idea of purchase even seems very little developed in the civil and commercial usage of the Toradja,63 on the contrary this idea of purchase from the spirits and the gods is utterly constant. Malinowski, reporting on forms of exchange that we shall describe shortly, points to acts of the same kind in the Trobriand Islands.

It also supposes two T H E E XC H A N G E O F G I F T S other obligations just as important: the obligation, on the one hand, to give presents, and on the other, to receive them. The complete theory of these three obligations, of these three themes relating to the same complex, would yield a satisfactory basic explanation for this form of contract among Polynesian clans. For the time being we can only sketch out how the subject might be treated. It is easy to find many facts concerning the obligation to receive.

Generally, even what is received and has come into one’s possession in this way—in whatever manner—is not kept for oneself, unless one cannot do without it. 92 It can happen that the identical things one has acquired and then given away come back to one in the course of the same day. T H E E X T E N S I O N O F T H I S SYS T E M All the rewards for ‘total services’ of any kind, things and services, fall within this category. In random order, the following are the most important. The pokala93 and kaributu,94 ‘solicitory gifts’, which we have noted in the kula, are species of a much larger category that corresponds fairly closely to what we term ‘remuneration’.

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