|Born||May 10, 1872|
|Died||February 10, 1950|
Marcel Mauss (May 10, 1872 – February 10, 1950) was a French sociologist best known for his role in elaborating on and securing the legacy of his uncle Émile Durkheim and the Année Sociologique. Events 1291 - Scottish Nobles recognize the authority of Edward I of England. Year 1872 ( MDCCCLXXII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Épinal is a commune of northeastern France, préfecture (capital of the Vosges département. Events 1355 - The St Scholastica's Day riot breaks out in Oxford, England, leaving 63 scholars and perhaps 30 locals dead Year 1950 ( MCML) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Sociology (from Latin: socius "companion" and the suffix -ology "the study of" from Greek λόγος lógos "knowledge" Events 1291 - Scottish Nobles recognize the authority of Edward I of England. Year 1872 ( MDCCCLXXII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Events 1355 - The St Scholastica's Day riot breaks out in Oxford, England, leaving 63 scholars and perhaps 30 locals dead Year 1950 ( MCML) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Sociology (from Latin: socius "companion" and the suffix -ology "the study of" from Greek λόγος lógos "knowledge" Émile Durkheim ( April 15, 1858 – November 15, 1917) was a French Sociologist whose contributions were instrumental L'Année Sociologique was a sociology journal founded in 1898 by Émile Durkheim, who also served as its editor His most famous work is The Gift, on reciprocity and gift economies among "uncivilized peoples". The Gift is a short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss and is best known for being one of the earliest and most important studies of Reciprocity In Cultural anthropology and Sociology, reciprocity is a way of defining people's informal Exchange of goods and labour; that A gift economy is a Social theory in which goods and services are given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future Quid pro quo.
Mauss was born in Epinal to a Jewish family, and studied philosophy at Bordeaux, where his uncle Émile Durkheim was teaching at the time and agregated in 1893. Épinal is a commune of northeastern France, préfecture (capital of the Vosges département. PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ ( Gascon: Bordèu) is a port city in southwest France, with one million inhabitants in its metropolitan area at a 2008 estimate In France, the agrégation is a civil service Competitive examination for some positions in the Public education system Instead of taking the usual route of teaching at a lycée, however, Mauss moved to Paris and took up the study of comparative religion and the Sanskrit language. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Comparative religion is a field of Religious study that analyzes the similarities and differences of themes myths rituals and concepts among the world's religions Sanskrit (sa संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, for short sa संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam) is a historical His first publication in 1896 marked the beginning of a prolific career that would produce several landmarks in the sociological literature.
Like many members of Année Sociologique Mauss was attracted to socialism, particularly that espoused by Jean Jaurès. L'Année Sociologique was a sociology journal founded in 1898 by Émile Durkheim, who also served as its editor Socialism refers to a broad set of economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the Means of production and distribution Jean Léon Jaurès (full name Auguste Marie Joseph Jean Léon Jaurès; 3 September 1859 31 July 1914) was a French He was particularly active in the events of the Dreyfus affair and towards the end of the century he helped edit such left-wing papers as le Populaire, l'Humanité and le Mouvement Socialiste, the last in collaboration with Georges Sorel. The Dreyfus Affair a Political scandal which divided France from the 1890s to the early 1900s L'Humanité ("Humanity" formerly the daily newspaper of the French Communist Party (PCF was founded in 1904 by Jean Jaurès, a leader of the Georges Eugène Sorel ( 2 November, 1847 &ndash 29 August, 1922) was a French Philosopher and theorist of Revolutionary
Mauss took up a chair in the 'history of religion and uncivilized peoples' at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in 1901. École pratique des hautes études is a University in Paris, France. It was at this time that he began drawing more and more on ethnography, and his work began increasingly to look like what we would today call anthropology. Anthropology (/ˌænθɹəˈpɒlədʒi/ from Greek grc ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, "human" -λογία -logia) is the study of
The years of World War I were absolutely devastating for Mauss. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All Many of his friends and colleagues died in the war, and Durkheim died shortly before its end. The postwar years were also difficult politically for Mauss. Durkheim had made changes to school curriculums across France, and after his death a backlash against his students began. Like many other followers of Durkheim, Mauss took refuge in administration, securing Durkheim's legacy by founding institutions such as l'Institut Français de Sociologie (1924) and l'Institut d'Ethnologie in 1926. In 1931 he took up the chair of Sociology at the Collège de France. The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment ( Grand établissement) located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement He actively fought against anti-semitism and racial politics both before and after World War II. Antisemitism (alternatively spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism; also rarely known as judeophobia) is the Prejudice against or hostility World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including He died in 1950.
In his classic work The Gift, Mauss argued that gifts are never "free". The Gift is a short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss and is best known for being one of the earliest and most important studies of Reciprocity Rather, human history is full of examples that gifts give rise to reciprocal exchange. The famous question that drove his inquiry into the anthropology of the gift was: "What power resides in the object given that causes its recipient to pay it back?" (1990:3). The answer is simple: the gift is a "total prestation", imbued with "spiritual mechanisms", engaging the honour of both giver and receiver (the term "total prestation" or "total social fact" (fait social total) was coined by his student Maurice Leenhardt after Durkheim's social fact). In Positivist Sociology, social facts are the values cultural norms and social structures that are external to the individual Maurice Leenhardt, (1878 - 1954 was a French pastor and ethnologist specialising in the Kanak people of New Caledonia. Such transactions transcend the divisions between the spiritual and the material in a way that according to Mauss is almost "magical". The giver does not merely give an object but also part of himself, for the object is indissolubly tied to the giver: "the objects are never completely separated from the men who exchange them" (1990:31). Because of this bond between giver and gift, the act of giving creates a social bond with an obligation to reciprocate on part of the recipient. To not reciprocate means to lose honour and status, but the spiritual implications can be even worse: in Polynesia, failure to reciprocate means to lose mana, one's spiritual source of authority and wealth. Polynesia (from Greek: πολύς many, νῆσος island) is a Subregion of Oceania, comprising a large grouping of over Mana is the concept of an impersonal force or quality that resides in people animals and inanimate objects Mauss distinguished between three obligations: giving - the necessary initial step for the creation and maintenance of social relationships; receiving, for to refuse to receive is to reject the social bond; and reciprocating in order to demonstrate one's own liberality, honour and wealth.
An important notion in Mauss' conceptualisation of gift exchange is what Gregory (1982, 1997) refers to as "inalienability". In a commodity economy there is a strong distinction between objects and persons through the notion of private property. Objects are sold, meaning that the ownership rights are fully transferred to the new owner. The object has thereby become "alienated" from its original owner. Alienation, in Property law, is the capacity for a piece of property or a property right to be sold or otherwise transferred from one party to another In a gift economy, however, the objects that are given are inalienated from the givers; they are "loaned rather than sold and ceded". It is the fact that the identity of the giver is invariably bound up with the object given that causes the gift to have a power which compels the recipient to reciprocate. Because gifts are inalienable they must be returned; the act of giving creates a gift-debt that has to be repaid. Gift exchange therefore leads to a mutual interdependence between giver and receiver. According to Mauss, the "free" gift that is not returned is a contradiction because it cannot create social ties. Following the Durkheimian quest for understanding social cohesion through the concept of solidarity, Mauss's argument is that solidarity is achieved through the social bonds created by gift exchange.
Mauss's views on the nature of gift exchange have not been without their critics. Testart (1998) for example argues that there are "free" gifts, such as passers-by giving money to beggars in e. g. a large Western city. Donor and receiver do not know each other and are unlikely to ever meet again. In this context, the donation certainly creates no obligation on the side of the beggar to reciprocate; neither the donor nor the beggar have such an expectation. Moreover, the transaction does not establish a relationship between the two, much less a mutual interdependence . Testart also suggests that there are different kinds of obligations: a) feelings of obligation, e. g. created by having been invited for dinner and having a feeling that one should reciprocate; b) social obligations, meaning that the social context obliges one to reciprocate, and that a failure to do so would not only affect one's relationship with the giver but also affect one's reputation in general; and c) legal obligations, as established through a legal contract. Testart argues that only the latter can actually be enforced. He feels that Mauss overstated the magnitude of the obligation created by social pressures, particularly in his description of the potlatch amongst North American Indians. A potlatch is a festival ceremony practiced by Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast in North America along Pacific Northwest coast of the United For indigenous peoples in the United States other than Hawaii and Alaska see also Native Americans in the United States.
Another example of a non-reciprocal "free" gift is provided by Laidlaw (2000). He describes the social context of Indian Jain renouncers, a group of itinerant celibate renouncers living an ascetic life of spiritual purification and salvation. Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma / Shraman Dharma (जैन धर्म is an ancient religion of India. The principle of non-violence influences the diet of Jain renouncers and compels them to avoid preparing food as this could potentially involve violence against microscopic organisms. Since Jain renouncers do not work, they rely on food donations from lay families within the Jain community. However, the former must not appear to be having any wants or desires, and only very hesitantly and apologetically receive the food prepared by the latter. Laidlaw describes how the renouncers produce litanies of refusal when receiving the food and never show thankfulness or appreciation for it. In order not to appear as beggars, they visit families at random, attempting not to create relationships with a family by returning there regularly. What is given is not considered a gift by either donors or receivers, and since appearing as having any wants would spoil the Jain renouncer's spiritual purity there absolutely must not be anything given in return. Consequently, what Jain renouncers receive is supposed to be a spontaneous free gift without any strings attached, and the elaborate culturally constructed process surrounding this procedure is meant to ensure that this is what happens.
In his argumentation, Laidlaw employs Derrida's four criteria for a "free gift":
Laidlaw argues that food donations received by Jain renouncers fulfil all four criteria. They are a non-reciprocated free gift, although they aren't a very altruistic one since such donations are the "paradigmatic religious good deed" (punya), and the local lay families are very eager to make them regularly.
Laidlaw's example poses a further challenge to Mauss's definition of the gift. The gift itself is alienated from the original owner in two ways: first, it is given without any expectation to receive it or an equivalent object in return; second, what is given is not of permanence. Cooking something for another person may or may not create obligations, but since the object given is necessarily consumed in the process it becomes questionable whether there remains an "indissoluble bond of a thing with its original owner" (Gregory, 1982:18). Similarly, money given to beggars in a context where giver and receiver are aliens (as in Testart's example) appears to be fully alienated from the former, particularly since money - in contrast to other objects - often (albeit not always) has no inherent personal qualities.
"Free" gifts therefore challenge all three aspects of the Maussian notion of the gift: it can be questioned whether
While Mauss is known for several of his own works - most notably his masterpiece Essai sur le Don ('The Gift') - much of his best work was done in collaboration with members of the Annee Sociologique, including Durkheim himself (Primitive Classification), Henri Hubert (Outline of a General Theory of Magic and Essay on the Nature and Function of Sacrifice), Paul Fauconnet (Sociology) and others. The Gift is a short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss and is best known for being one of the earliest and most important studies of Reciprocity L'Année Sociologique was a sociology journal founded in 1898 by Émile Durkheim, who also served as its editor Émile Durkheim ( April 15, 1858 – November 15, 1917) was a French Sociologist whose contributions were instrumental Henri Hubert ( Paris June 23, 1872 - May 25, 1927) was an archaeologist and sociologist of Comparative Paul Fauconnet (1874-1938 was a French sociologist who is best known as a contributor to the Annee Sociologique.
Like many prominent French academics, Mauss did not train a great number of students. Nonetheless, many anthropologists claim to have followed in his footsteps, most notably Claude Lévi-Strauss. Claude Lévi-Strauss (klod levi stʁos born 28 November 1908 is a French Anthropologist. The essay on The Gift is the origin for anthropological studies of reciprocity. In Cultural anthropology and Sociology, reciprocity is a way of defining people's informal Exchange of goods and labour; that His analysis of the Potlatch has been used by many interested in gift economies and Open Source software, although this latter use sometimes differs from Mauss's original formulation. A potlatch is a festival ceremony practiced by Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast in North America along Pacific Northwest coast of the United A gift economy is a Social theory in which goods and services are given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future Quid pro quo. Open source is a development methodology which offers practical accessibility to a product's source (goods and knowledge See also Hyde's revolutionary critique of Mauss in "Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property".