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Gift Giving and Magic Mauss- The Gift - exchanges often take the form of presents or gifts - in theory they are voluntary, but in reality they are obligatory o expectations - 3 obligations- to give, to receive, to reciprocate What characterizes the system of total services? - Not individuals but collectives impose obligations and restrictions. - Not just things that are exchanged, but acts of politeness- gift cards vs actual presents - Committed as voluntary, actually obligatory Gift cards- thinking about getting a certain card- who gives what, what kind of gift card it is. Potlach- total services of an agnostic character. - Often families/clans would end up w less wealth when they started. - Agnostic- in the form of a game, outdo each other in a form of a contest. o Ex- weddings, Christmas décor. - Holding together social relations. How can gifts be obligatory? - Mauss- ‘declaring war if you don’t’, example white elephant gifts When are gifts given? - Pregnancies, births, religious, birthday, graduations, weddings, Christmas, going away, etc - Commonalities? Milestones, change-- They mark a CHANGE in status . Sits where gifts are reciprocated not between same individuals, but between different people—e.g. child as a channel. When don’t we give gifts? Funerals, break ups. When the change is not for good. Mauss- what compels people and clans to reciprocate? - The ‘hau’ (the spirit) of the thing, the ‘thing’ itself reciprocates. - Part of primitive belief. - Illness and neg consequences follow for failing to reciprocate or pass on. What might compel us? Tradition, guilt Mauss’ theory of gift is a theory of human solidarity- primitive of traditional society. - Exchange relations and social relations cannot be separated from each other.
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- Participation is system or pattern of gift giving is a form of social membership. Gifts and more importantly the patter, system or structure of gift exchange serve as vehicles for expression of social relationships. In what way is this system different then strict economic transitions than you might encounter in a store? - Not extenstion in time, you go, you buy, you pat. - Different in the sense of obligation- no obligation to reciprocate when you just go and buy something. - Intensity, duration, effect Frazer- The Golden Bough - sympathetic magic - two kinds o contagious effect of contact with someone or something continues after the contact has been severed fingernails, afterbirth, etc. ex- piece of grass from Shea stadium because John Lennon
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advertising - Gift Giving and Magic Mauss The Gift...

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