This chapter explains that the gift‐giving Marcel Mauss discussed implies a conception of reciprocity that defines the very core of human relationships. It explores the economies of pre-capitalist cultures and peoples from several different parts of the world, including Melanesia, Polynesia, and the Pacific Northwest. The Gift exploits Mauss’s high-level analytical and interpretative skills to produce a brilliant investigation of the forms, meanings, and structures of gift-giving across a range of societies. E.EVANS-PRITCHARD ProfessorofSocialAnthropology andFellowofAllSoulsCollege,Oxford COHEN&WESTLTD 68-74CarterLane,London,E.C.4 1966 I have found myself re-reading Marcel Mauss’s classic treatise on The Gift.It was first published in the 1920s as a series of articles in L’Année Sociologique the journal founded by Mauss’s uncle, Émile Durkheim.And indeed, its spirit is firmly Durkheimian, for it sees the prime role of the gift and the act of giving to be the cementing of the bonds of society. Marcel Mauss’ “The Gift” (1925) is one of the most influential pieces of anthropology written in the twentieth century. Marcel Mauss THE GIFT: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies ©1967, Norton Library I have never found a man so generous and hospitable that he would not receive a present, nor one so liberal with his money that he would dislike a reward if he could get one. Friends should rejoice each others’ hearts with gifts of weapons and Study and Discussion Questions for Marcel Mauss, The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (originally published in French in the 1923- 1925) Because of the difficulty of this book, only these pages are required: Foreward and Intro (skim), chapter 2, pp. THEGIFT FormsandFunctionsofExchange inArchaicSocieties by MARCELMAUSS Translatedby IANGUNNISON WithanIntroductionby. Although the obligation to repay constitutes the essence of the reciprocity rule, it is the obligation to receive that makes the rule so easy to exploit" (p. 31). Marcel Mauss’s 1925 essay The Gift is an enduring classic of sociological and anthropological analysis by a thinker who is one of the founding fathers of modern anthropology.. Cialdini notes Marcel Mauss’ study of gift giving, "There is an obligation to give, an obligation to receive, and an obligation to repay.
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