Exchanges are fundamental to human societies. The authors show that the study of exchanges not only serves as a key to understanding particular societies as totalities but also helps to frame a comparative mode of analysis expressed in terms of a hierarchy of values. Starting with a comparative analysis of the different vocabularies used when dealing with exchange, the authors go on to provide a detailed account of how each society's exchanges form a genuine value-oriented system. Their conclusions shed light on important issues in anthropology such as the difference between subject and object; the construction of the person in the matrix of social relations; and the contrast between 'socio-cosmic' systems and other societies which recognize a universal term of reference beyond their community.
Table of Contents
Introduction - The Vocabulary of Exchanges - The Exchanges - The Exchanges of Each Society Considered as a Whole - Exchanges, Wholes, Comparison
Editors:Cecile Barraud, Charge de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.), Paris Daniel de Coppet, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris Andre Iteanu, Charge de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.),Paris Raymond Jamous, Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.), France Translated from the French by Stephen J. Suffern