Do et Des: The Social Bonds Of Reciprocity February 27, 2015 Lecture
Do et Des: The Social Bonds Of Reciprocity February 27, 2015 Lecture ANTH 1002
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Do et Des The Social Bonds 0f Reciprocity February 27 2015 Lecture 1 Giftgiving not quite as strength forward as we might think a Is there anything such a pure gift One where there is no expectation in return i Larry David You are either anonymous or notquot 1 In the video he explores anonymous gifts and dry cleaning 9 Reciprocity b Focuses on the collective on the social i Fundamental on what hold society together 9 reciprocity and exchange system ii Reciprocity 9 social fact external and coercive c What is reciprocity i Define the exchange of good and services of approximately equal value between two equal parties ii Two types 9 1 Generalized type of exchange between closely related people without expectations of return a Unilateral one to another b Close social proximity c No desire for equal immediate return d Example Mother to child i No desire for equalimmediate return maybe in the long term Love Balanced Symmetrical mode of exchange between looselyrelated individual or groups expectations that something of equal value will be offered in return a Two sided exchange 2 Background on Mauss and The Gift a Marcel Mauss nephewmost distinguished of Durkheim18721950 i Published the Gift in 1922 1 His masterpiece Origin for anthropological study of reciprocity and for economic anthropology Theoretical intervention on giving has had profound impact on all areas of social science Example in International Affairs 9 a Donations have expectations They have implicit obligation i Bosnia and Herzegovina 9 we will give you aid but do what we say and give us your mining ii Side note WWI years were devastating for Durkhemian sociology 9 students of sociology were sent to war and died iii Mauss took refuge in administrative capacity 1 He institutionalized sociology in universities 2 The French Institute of Sociology 3 Fought antiSemitism b Questions at beginning of society i ii iii Pg 3 9 quotWhat rule of legality and selfinterest in societies of a backward and archaic type compels the gift that has been received to be obligatorin reciprocated What power resides in the object given that cause its recipient to pay it back Looking a less complicated society in order to understand reciprocity Why They saw fewer variables Interested in the collective in the social within the quotprimitive cultures c Mauss asserts that in socalled primitive societies there is a complex system of exchanges 1 ii iii iv First Its not individual but collectivities that impose obligationThese ways both at oncequot Pg 5 Second what is exchanged is not simply material such as exchanges are acts more general and enduring contractquot Pg 5 Example 9 weddings a Collectivities impose obligation They invited us to their wedding we have to invite themquot b Not simply material Politeness and prestige exchanges These two points together explain 9 the system of total services 1 Finally these total services and counterservices are committedwe propose to call all this the system of total servicesquot Pg 56 2 If you are acting against the social norm you will get sanctions 3 Exchange and reciprocity the example of potlatch a The potlatch 1 ii iii iv v vi Most native cultures on the Northwest Coast use potlatches including the Kwakiutl and the Tlingit tribes Potlaches were social occasions given a host to establish or uphold his status position his status in society They were often held to mark a significant event in his family such as the birth of child or a son s marriage Guest shared food and received gift or payment Potlatches were also the venue in which ownership to economic and ceremonial privileges was asserted displayed and formally transferred to heirsquot 1 About status prestige and power 9 political The significance and nature of gifting in Northwest coast potlatches has varied through time and across cultures It commonly portrayed as extremely competitive with hosts bankrupting themselves to outdo rivals and aggressively destroying property 1 Display of wealth is competitive and destructive 2 Power is asserted 3 It s a dangerous place 9 if you attend then you don t have resources to reciprocateyou are in deep trouble Articles 1 Potlatch bowls Chest as potlatch gift 2 These articles that also bear emblems covered with faces eyes and animal and human figuresall are living beingseach one of these precious things posses moreover productive power It is not a mere sign and pledge it is also a sign and a pledge of wealth the magical and religious symbol of rank and plen tyquot Pg 32 3 quotYet what is note worthy person of its chiefquot Pg 6 a The potlatch is about rivalry it is essentially agonistic aggressive combativequot 4 We propose to reserve the term potlatch for this kind of institution that we call total services of an agonistic typequot a With the example of the north American potlatch Mauss sets up the famous triad of obligations in the triad Explained in Pg 39043 i Obligation to Give ii Obligation to Receive iii Obligation to Reciprocate Vii 4 Glossary 9962 Potlatch Reciprocity balanced and generalized Total system of services Do et des quotIgive so thatyou may give