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1002:3.1.1 [2020/02/14 17:17]
Ryan Schram (admin) [Durkheim and Mauss]
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-~~DECKJS~~ 
-# The obligations of the gift  
- 
-## The obligations of the gift  
- 
-Ryan Schram 
- 
-Social Sciences Building (A02), Room 410 
- 
-ryan.schram@sydney.edu.au 
- 
-ANTH 1002: Anthropology in the world 
- 
-Module 3, Week 1, Lecture 1 
- 
-September 23, 2019 
- 
-Available at http://​anthro.rschram.org/​1002/​3.1.1 
- 
-## The Kula Ring 
- 
-{{url>​https://​www.google.com/​maps/​embed?​pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d12201228.961331584!2d153.35986953923668!3d-12.52293378404623!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x691f758ed688b3c1%3A0xac9dd65609d2e8c9!2sNormanby+Island!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sau!4v1403749009918}} 
- 
-## Bagi 
- 
-{{:​bagi.jpg|A bagi necklace}} 
- 
-(Necklace [*bagi*], late 20th century, Pacific Ethnographic Collection #80.1/3369, American Museum of Natural History) 
- 
-## Mwali  
- 
-{{:​mwali.jpg|A mwali armband}} 
- 
-(Armband [*mwali*], late 20th century, Pacific Ethnographic Collection #80.1/3409, American Museum of Natural History) 
- 
- 
- 
-## Durkheim and Mauss 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-**[[:Emile Durkheim]]** is a founding figure of sociology and anthropology ​ 
- 
-* He wanted to analyze [[:​society|society]] as an objective fact 
-* Society is a collective consciousness,​ like the [[https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Borg_%28Star_Trek%29#​Borg_Collective|Borg]],​ from *Star Trek* (yes). ​ 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-**[[:Marcel Mauss]]** was a nephew and student of Durkheim 
- 
-* Applied a Durkheimian analysis to economic activity 
-* [[:​Reciprocity]] is an obligation underlying many if not all transactions 
- 
- 
- 
-## Western culture and social reality 
- 
-At the risk of oversimplifying things, I would like to introduce a major division in types of society. ​ 
- 
-### "​Western"​ culture 
- 
-* Western culture values individualism. ​ 
- 
-* Children are taught to be individuals. ​ 
- 
-* Society and its rules are always external infringements on personal freedom. ​ 
- 
-### Social reality 
- 
-* Every person is, by definition, a member of a group. Most people 
-  have very complex networks of ties to many people and groups. It's 
-  just part of being a person. 
- 
-* No one can really be outside of society. There'​s no such thing as a 
-  wolf child, or a Robinson Crusoe. These are myths. ​ 
- 
-## Gifts 
- 
-In the islands of PNG, fishermen exchange fish for garden food with 
-gardeners. Fishermen always cook their food in fresh water, even 
-though they live by the sea. Inland gardeners cook their food in sea 
-water, even though they have fresh water nearby. **"​Intoxicated with 
-great love of exchange, they exchange even the water of their 
-respective dwelling places and carry it home for the boiling of their 
-food"​** (Fortune 1932: 206). 
- 
-Many people throughout the world exchange things they don't need for 
-things they don't need. They even exchange identical things, like 
-water. 
- 
-Why? 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-## Gifts create obligations 
- 
-Mauss says: Because you have to.  
- 
-Gifts come with obligations because it is part of the system of total 
-services. Specifically,​ giving a gift involves **a triple 
-obligation**:​ 
- 
-* The obligation to **give** 
-* The obligation to **receive** 
-* The obligation to **reciprocate**,​ or to give back to one who has 
-  given. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-## Gifts have spirit 
- 
-For Mauss, the Maori word *hau* means the "​spirit of the thing given."​ 
-When someone gives a gift, they give part of themselves. "The *hau* 
-wishes to return to its birthplace"​ (Mauss 2000 [1925]: 12).  
- 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-## Total services 
- 
-What, then, is society? Mauss says that the essence of society is a 
-"​system of total services"​ in which everything one does is for someone 
-else, and other people do everything for you. It is a state of total 
-interdependence. ​ 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-## Reciprocity is everywhere ​ 
- 
-Gift economies are not simply societies in which there'​s a lot of 
-gifts. A gift economy is a society in which reciprocity is a "total 
-social phenomenon."​ 
- 
-Even societies which have created the possibility of individualism,​ 
-the the West, still have gifts and still have reciprocity. 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-## Moka is a competitive system 
- 
-The *moka* and the *potlatch* are systems of total services of an 
-agonistic type. 
- 
-Agonistic means that the sides in an exchange are competing to give 
-more services to the other, and to raise the stakes of reciprocity. 
- 
-Competing for prestige versus gaining profit? ​ 
- 
- 
- 
- 
-## References 
- 
-Fortune, R. F. 1932. *Sorcerers of Dobu: The Social Anthropology of the Dobu Islanders of the Western Pacific*. London: Routledge. 
- 
-Mauss, Marcel. 2000 (1925). *The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies*. Translated by W. D. Halls. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 
  
1002/3.1.1.1581729471.txt.gz ยท Last modified: 2020/02/14 17:17 by Ryan Schram (admin)