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Nothing in Return? Distinctions between Gift and Commodity in Contemporary Societies

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Nothing in Return? Distinctions between Gift and Commodity in Contemporary Societies. / Benson, Michaela; Carter, Denise.

In: Anthropology in Action, Vol. 15, No. 3, 01.01.2008, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

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Benson, Michaela ; Carter, Denise. / Nothing in Return? Distinctions between Gift and Commodity in Contemporary Societies. In: Anthropology in Action. 2008 ; Vol. 15, No. 3. pp. 1-7.

Bibtex

@article{741983dfeec14f9fba7eeb8288ddba5f,
title = "Nothing in Return? Distinctions between Gift and Commodity in Contemporary Societies",
abstract = "According to Mauss{\textquoteright} seminal works, it was through obligations laid bare by the gift exchange process—the obligation to give, receive and reciprocate—that pre-modern societies were symbolically reproduced. Mauss{\textquoteright} distinction between those early societies and the encroaching capitalist world has led to questions about whether gift exchange can play a similar role in today{\textquoteright}s highly individualised and impersonal contemporary societies. In addition, it has also stimulated a great deal of debate about the relationship between gifts and commodities. If, as many theorists suggest, commodities are a central feature of daily life in capitalist societies, there is the possibility of fluidity between gift and commodity. This invites several interesting questions about the forms and functions of exchange: what forms does exchange take in contemporary societies; what implications, if any, do these forms of exchange have for relationships in contemporary society; and, does gift exchange still have a function in society?",
author = "Michaela Benson and Denise Carter",
year = "2008",
month = jan,
day = "1",
doi = "10.3167/aia.2008.150301",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "1--7",
journal = "Anthropology in Action",
issn = "0967-201X",
publisher = "Berghahn Journals",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Nothing in Return? Distinctions between Gift and Commodity in Contemporary Societies

AU - Benson, Michaela

AU - Carter, Denise

PY - 2008/1/1

Y1 - 2008/1/1

N2 - According to Mauss’ seminal works, it was through obligations laid bare by the gift exchange process—the obligation to give, receive and reciprocate—that pre-modern societies were symbolically reproduced. Mauss’ distinction between those early societies and the encroaching capitalist world has led to questions about whether gift exchange can play a similar role in today’s highly individualised and impersonal contemporary societies. In addition, it has also stimulated a great deal of debate about the relationship between gifts and commodities. If, as many theorists suggest, commodities are a central feature of daily life in capitalist societies, there is the possibility of fluidity between gift and commodity. This invites several interesting questions about the forms and functions of exchange: what forms does exchange take in contemporary societies; what implications, if any, do these forms of exchange have for relationships in contemporary society; and, does gift exchange still have a function in society?

AB - According to Mauss’ seminal works, it was through obligations laid bare by the gift exchange process—the obligation to give, receive and reciprocate—that pre-modern societies were symbolically reproduced. Mauss’ distinction between those early societies and the encroaching capitalist world has led to questions about whether gift exchange can play a similar role in today’s highly individualised and impersonal contemporary societies. In addition, it has also stimulated a great deal of debate about the relationship between gifts and commodities. If, as many theorists suggest, commodities are a central feature of daily life in capitalist societies, there is the possibility of fluidity between gift and commodity. This invites several interesting questions about the forms and functions of exchange: what forms does exchange take in contemporary societies; what implications, if any, do these forms of exchange have for relationships in contemporary society; and, does gift exchange still have a function in society?

U2 - 10.3167/aia.2008.150301

DO - 10.3167/aia.2008.150301

M3 - Journal article

VL - 15

SP - 1

EP - 7

JO - Anthropology in Action

JF - Anthropology in Action

SN - 0967-201X

IS - 3

ER -