An Analysis of Marcel Mauss's The Gift : The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies book cover
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An Analysis of Marcel Mauss's The Gift
The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies





ISBN 9781912128587
Published July 21, 2017 by Macat Library
118 Pages

 
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Book Description

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.

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. Mauss, along with many others, had noted that in a wide range of societies – especially those without monetary exchange or legal structures – gift-giving and receiving was carried out according to strict customs and unwritten laws. What he sought to do in The Gift was to analyse the structures that governed how and when gifts were given, received, and reciprocated in order to grasp what implicit and unspoken reasons governed these structures. He also wanted to apply his interpretative skills to asking what such exchanges meant, in order to explore the implications his analysis might have for modern, western cultures. In Mauss’s investigations, it became clear that gift-giving is, in many cultures, a crucial structural force, binding people together in a web of reciprocal commitments generated by the laws of gifting. Indeed, he concluded, gifts can be seen as the ‘glue’ of society..

Table of Contents

Ways in to the text 

Who was Marcel Mauss? 

What does The Gift Say? 

Why does The Gift  matter? 

Section 1: Influences 

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context 

Module 2: Academic Context 

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas 

Module 7: Achievement 

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today 

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms 

People Mentioned in the Text 

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

The Macat Team