Gift, exchange and reciprocity


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Gift, exchange and reciprocity

  1. 1. Masca Indra T
  2. 2.  Where to start? when an anthropologist arriving in society Communication with others member in the society, the way of researcher to start. (consideration of the nature of social relationship).Small gift for Neighbour in Japan.- First important step of self introduction- Allows relationship to be opened- And opening relationship is a vital one- In a way that they can comprehend and appreciate  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  3. 3.  Oseibo and Ochugen Twice a year, in December and in June, it is common for co-workers, friends and relatives to exchange gifts. The gifts are called Oseibo and Ochugen respectively. On average, they are worth about 5000 yen and may be food, alcohol, household items or something similar. The gift giving seasons coincide with company employees receiving a special bonus in addition to their monthly salaries. Temiyage and Omiyage In order to thank somebody, one often presents a gift (temiyage), such as Japanese sweets or sake. Similarly, when a Japanese person returns from a trip, he or she bring home souvenirs (omiyage) to friends, co-workers and relatives. In Japan, tourist sites are generally surrounded by many omiyage shops specializing in souvenir gifts, often in the form of beautifully wrapped and packaged foods. Birthday and Christmas Gift giving on birthdays and Christmas is not originally a Japanese tradition. Due to the strong influence from the West, however, some families and friends exchange gifts also on these occasions. Gifts are given and received with both hands. There are a few rules about what not to give, since certain gifts in certain circumstances or a certain number of gifts are believed to cause bad luck.
  4. 4. " when only a limited ammount of the spoken languagemight be understood, details about the movement ofobjects can help an ethnographer to build up a map ofsocial ties between the people who live there "  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  5. 5. Gift also given at rather specific times, and an examination ofthe occasions involved may also help to lead to anunderstanding of important events and stages in the lives of thepeople concerned. -Gift to individuals may be marking changes of status -To wider groups maybe celebrating ocassions important in their society. Presents are given as : - One grows up and grows old - Attains important goals - Single to married - Divorce - New life or end of life  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  6. 6. gift also :- We visits another ( especially if they eat together, spend weekend,holiday inothers home)- House warming presents are made to families who recently moved in Britain.-Christmas as a global example of relationship by making gifts to each other,and the non-christian may join in simply for the purpose of reinforcing theirown social relations. (Baumann,1922)Rules and convention of giving:- When it is apropriate to give gifts- whom, it is important to know how valuable they should be- How they should be received- How and when they should be repaid- How the gift should be presented- form of words should accompany the presentation.  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  7. 7. (Mauss,1925) In a small scale early societies, gift-exchange is particularlyimportant because it is a total phenomenon which may involvesimultaneous expression of religious, legal, moral and economic nature. Heargue further that exchange may often be between whole groups, throughtheir chief, and may involves not only goods, wealth and property, but alsocourtesies, entertaintment ritual, military assistance, women,children,dances and feasts.In his classic work The Gift, Mauss argued that gifts are never "free". 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 giftwas: "What power resides in the object given that causes its recipient to payit back?" (1990:3). The answer is simple: the gift is a "total prestation",imbued with "spiritual mechanisms", engaging the honour of both giver andreceiver.  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  8. 8. Kula, gift-giving system in trobriand islands.The Kula ring spans 18 island communities of the Massim archipelago,including the Trobriand Islands and involves thousands of individuals.Participants travel at times hundreds of miles by canoe in order to exchangeKula valuables which consist of red shell-disc necklaces (veigun or soulava)that are traded to the north (circling the ring in clockwise direction) andwhite shell armbands (mwali) that are traded in the southern direction(circling counterclockwise). If the opening gift was an armshell, then theclosing gift must be a necklace and vice versa  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  9. 9.  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  10. 10. Maori :  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  11. 11. Māori culture is the culture of the Māori of New Zealand, an EasternPolynesian people, and forms a distinctive part of New Zealandculture. Witchin the Māori community, and to a lesser extentthroughout New Zealand as a whole, the word Māoritanga is oftenused as an approximate synonym for Māori culture, the Māori suffix -tanga being roughly equivalent to the qualitative noun ending "-ness"in English.Mana is an indigenous Pacific islander concept of an impersonal forceor quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects. Theword is a cognate in many Oceanic languages, including Melanesian,Polynesian, and Micronesian.In anthropological discourse, mana as a generalized concept is oftenunderstood as a precursor to formal religion. It has commonly beeninterpreted as "the stuff of which magic is formed," as well as thesubstance of which souls are made.  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  12. 12. Thode who are unable to repay the gift, for whatever reason will losetheir face and prestige within their society.  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  13. 13.  A potlatch is a gift-giving festival and primary economic system practiced by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada and United States. This includes Heiltsuk Nation, Haida, Nuxalk, Tlingit, Makah, Tsimshian],Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakwakawakw, and Coast Salish cultures. The word comes from the Chinook Jargon, meaning "to give away" or "a gift"; originally from the Nuu- chah-nulth word p̓ačiƛ, to make a ceremonial gift in a potlatch.[1] It went through a history of rigorous ban by both the Canadian and United States federal governments, and has been the study of many anthropologists.
  14. 14. photo of a Kwakwakawakw potlatch with dancers and singers.a Kwakwakawakw "big house" built byChief Mungo Martin in 1953. Verywealthy prominent hosts would have alonghouse specifically for potlatchingand for housing guests.
  15. 15.  Mausss views on the nature of gift exchange have not been without their critics : ◦ In India there are a form of gift known as dan and dana. the gift positively not to be repaid.(gloria Goodwin Raheja) ◦ Jonathan Perry, distinction of free gift and economic self interest. ◦ 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
  16. 16. In his argumentation, Laidlaw employs four criteria for a "free gift": ◦ There is no reciprocity ◦ The recipient must not recognise the gift as a gift or himself as the recipient of a gift ◦ The donor must not recognise the gift, either ◦ The thing itself cannot appear as a "gift"
  17. 17. Religious gift giving BuddhismMain article: AlmsIn Southeast Asia, Theravada Buddhists continue to sponsor "Feasts of Merit" that are very similar to potlatch. Such feasts usually involve many sponsors and occur mainly before and after the rainy season HinduismMain articles: bhiksha and karmkandBhiksha is a devotional offering, usually food, presented at a temple or to a swami or a religious Brahmin who in turn provides a religious service (karmkand) or instruction. IslamMain article: ZakatIn Islam, the free gift of alms is a religious requirement, which has made social foundations an important part of Muslim communities. JudaismMain article: TzedakahAccording to the Hebrew Bible, tzedakah is a religious obligation that must be performed regardless of financial standing. It is considered as one of the three main acts that can annul a less than favorable heavenly decree.
  18. 18. In a wider interpretation of social life, gifts may be seen to formjust one material part of a complex system of exchange whivh isfound in all societies in one form or another.Exchange is an important means of communication which expresssocial relationships at various levels.- Drink a cup of tea or coffe together- inviting people for diner or parties- writing letters- Buying drinks- Sending chritmas cards  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  19. 19. -The degree of exchange is ussually expected.- For a friendship or relationship to develop, there needs to be to wayflow and not to be identical :- Letters and e-mail- E-mail and telephone-Cook and washAt level of conversation, exchange is in a form of greeting.If we reject the relationship offered/refusal to reply it meansoffensive,unwelcome  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  20. 20. Socioeconimic form of exchange:•In Mexico and Guatemala, a ties of number of villages into a singlesocioeconomic community.•Every village have a specialize in making one particular product. (bread,pots,woolen goods, flowers even fireworks)•In order to provide the necessities of life, the people of this village mustcommunicate with each other an this is ussualy take place in markets.  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  21. 21. Marriage In these areas people tend to marry within the community so they can use the skills of their own specialties and pass them on to their children. In other part of world, a prefrence of marriage outside the community may provide the means of communication across the wider area. And this marriage is called an exchange too, cause once married held, further communication such as visiting, exchange of gift. This is a way which is smaller communities are drawn into larger system.  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  22. 22.  In all cases of exchange, some degree of reciprocity is necessary for the communication to continue in a amicable /good way, and the ultimate sanction for maintaining reciprocity ( Mauss ) private or open warfare. Warfare also an exchange, a negative reciprocity.  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  23. 23. Unbalanced reciprocity: Reciprocity maybe various kind, more or less time factor, greater or fewer social or moral attached. A small shopkeeper who give credit.( An immidiate exchange is less likely to represent a social relationship than a delayed one, since transaction completed there is no need further communication.)  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  24. 24. Marshall Sahlins (1974) Main Type of reciprocity A well known American cultural anthropologist, identified three main types of reciprocity in his book Stone Age Economics (1972). Generalized reciprocity is the same as virtually uninhibited sharing or giving. It occurs when one person shares goods or labor with another person without expecting anything in return. Balanced or Symmetrical reciprocity occurs when someone gives to someone else, expecting a fair and tangible return at some undefined future date. It is a very informal system of exchange. The expectation that the giver will be repaid is based on trust and social consequences; Negative reciprocity is what economists call barter. A person gives goods or labor and expects to be repaid immediately with some other goods or labor of the same value. Negative reciprocity can involve a minimum amount of trust and a maximum social distance; indeed, it can take place among strangers."  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity
  25. 25. Example of generalized Example of balanced reciprocityreciprocity selling surplus vegetables in a giving birthday gifts to a local market for money (Papuafriend New Guinea) Example of negative reciprocity selling prepared food in an urban center at an inflated price when there is very little competition and high demand  Gift Exchange and Reciprocity