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Lecture

ANT204 (Sept 14).docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANT204H5
Professor
Dylan Clark
Semester
Fall

Description
- Make a gift based society, not for profit, as a normal thing and opposed to western capitalism, market, trade base economy - GIFTS – “The Gift” Marcel Mauss gift economy *receive give] o From the 1900s, originally written in French, popular book in anthropology o Looking a drink is not so simple, there are political, economic o A world contained in a simple idea/product o The gift contains a lot more than the simple exchange o In theory, gifts are voluntarily but in fact they are given in obligation to be repaid o Friend buys you lunch and you feel that you want to buy her something and then it continues, the contract does not cancel out and goes on and on, there’s no way out to overpay someone because it just continues again; builds and sustain social relationship; contract cannot be easily terminated o As opposed to going out to buy toothpaste, the money you spend to buy it cancels the contract o Just because one does not have money, does not mean they’re less sophisticated o Wants to go beyond “primitive evolution” o Old concept that people have to go through the primitive ways of gift giving before getting to capitalism o Gift giving is part of our modern society, just that we’re blind to it o Moral persons; favour, entertainment o Countless society has recognize the danger of inequality of gifts/profit o Christians/Islam has been cautious of money lending to avoid exploitation o Why not extreme exploitation? Power struggles, major conflicts, o Commoners give gifts to royalty and the royalty are expected to give gifts back (give crops/labour, in return for protection and aid when needed) o Contrast that to taxation o Many society allows the accumulation of wealth, but prestige is earned o Political and economic power in terms of generosity and who has given the most o Some things can’t be reciprocated o To ensure goods/services circulates, from those who have to those who don’t o A gift’s value is hard to calculate and can’t be measured, non monetize value, therefore debts accumulate and debts occur; endlessly dependent on each other o A system that perpetuates, sym
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