Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

This that Mauss is sometimes guilty of when he

This
essay is a critical analysis of Marcel
Mauss’ The Gift findings and theories
about the honor, gift, and concept of “pure” or “free” gifts in the
absence of an agenda. However The Gift
received a lot of criticism when it seems confronted with some of the assumptions
incompatible with modern-practices. Though focusing on ancient societies, and
trying to show it in the whole essay in a balanced way, how can we use Mauss’
ideas permanently when analyzing certain aspects of economic systems and
sharing gifts in modern times?

According
to Mauss, there are “three obligations: to give, to receive, to reciprocate.” (50)
However, I find it is useful to understand
the meaning of “potlatch itself, so typical a
phenomenon, and at the same time so characteristic of these tribes, Melanesian
and Polynesian is none other than the system of gifts exchanged.” (Mauss
45) which includes
more auctioning activities, receiving and features prominently, in the texture,
and how it is the same. We can follow the social significance of generosity and
the obligation of the wealth. We can also see criticism denouncing theories that
enclose the concepts of ‘free’ gifts.

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Mauss
explores our commitments to the gifts and, most importantly, to the ideals that
are offered, whether they are equal to or
greater than the value received. With
most practices and the rituals of giving gifts to an array of communities, as “it
is not individuals but collectivities that impose obligations of exchange”
(Mauss 6) practicing the gifts and
motives behind them could vary.  Continually changing, Mauss persists for us, a constant resumption of
the responsibility to offer the same gifts.
The worth of the return gift is imperative in order to maintain associations
amongst all parties involved. Interestingly enough, Mauss says that, “even
when, in the gesture accompanying the transaction, there is only a polite fiction,
formalism, and social deceit, and when really there is obligation and economic
self-interest.” (4)

Mauss’
method of raising this through the examples of popular
stories of the social consequences of these mistakes will serve to develop the
real-world features of these philosophies in context. It also uses an original word
on the native language of the back of these connections, which are vital to understanding the original exchange of gifts of
symbolic significance. As Mauss points out that “in
a few places, the generosity of these
gifts is proof of the fertility of the young couple.” (78)

If
there is a criticism I should have to provide for their attempts, it would be
the absence of reliable translations that Mauss
is sometimes guilty of when he evaluates words against other languages. For
instance, in German terminology along with Hinduism, words can be compared to complications that are not located in
a sense without re-evaluating these words. Much of the
information requires a careful translation by the booklover to gain a complete consideration of the
emblematic implications. Though, it must be
illustrated that the attempts of Mauss’ simply
translation of the symbolic source and the connotation behind the unknown
words, when it is necessary to distinguish between the “gift” of
classification.

In
giving the gifts, one could moreover explore the symbolic character of
generosity. Mauss provides an example of this from German communities, by observing
the custom of offering wedding gifts, “it is common
knowledge that men present themselves publicly by the conspicuous presentation
of gifts. Generous contributions to a charity have always been a source of
prestige in the United States…especially…when individuals
rather than corporations make such gestures.”  (Mauss151)

Generosity
is a theme of the underlying moral intent inherent in the giving of the gifts. If
we consider the gift as the ethical contract, there should be significant
effects on the amount granted and why. Gifts with a higher value perceived in
the wrong context might indicate a false feeling to the recipient of the object
or service provided. To give, to receive, to reciprocate
displays a rudimentary supply of wealth dedicated to “flatter”
the receiver. It is possible that the “recipient
puts himself in a position of dependence vis-à-vis” (Mauss 76) which means a challenge to greater mutual wealth.

            This offer is very
different from the generosity of certain
fortune. It is the display that is designed to challenge the competitors.. It’s
a matter of forcing a person to accept a gift
that they fear cannot be matched in
return. The social situation that was created
through the gift exchange is an essential element in the dialogue of the book.
The impact of these concepts and theories,”mutual respect and reciprocating generosity”(Mauss106) continue to
apply to the sociologists and anthropologists who continue to study it today.

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