In The Enigma of the Gift, the distinguished French anthropologist Maurice Godelier reassesses the significance of gifts in social life by focusing on sacred. A reassessment of the function and importance of gifts in social life and in the constitution of social relations, based on the work of Marcel Mauss. In Mauss. The Enigma of the Gift. By Maurice Godelier. Translated by Nora Scott. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,. pp., introduction, bibli- ography.

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Jessica rated it liked it Apr 04, Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. In the second section of the book the author continues his discussion of Mauss by relating what is circulated in exchange ejigma what is kept back.

Cornucopia Limited Richard Coyne Limited preview – Amazon Renewed Refurbished products bift a warranty. Teh translated by Nora Scott, The Enigma of the Gift is at once a major theoretical contribution and an essential guide to the history of the theory of the gift. University of Chicago Press, The Enigma of the Gift by Maurice Godelier. As an analytical tool, this perspective helps him to illuminate the notion of original debt in the religions of many ancient state-level societies, where the gods are held to create the conditions of existence, and humans, no matter what or how much they give, can never cancel the obligations this debt creates.

The enigma of the gift / Maurice Godelier ; translated by Nora Scott – Details – Trove

Figuring that most don’t read my reviews of such isolated works as these, I’ll save goodreads from the long summary.


By explaining gift-giving in terms of sacred objects and the authoritative conferral of power associated with them, Godelier fift both recent and traditional theories of gift-giving, provocatively refreshing a traditional debate. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.

Paul Browne rated it really liked it Dec 30, Contents Substitute Objects for Humans and for the Gods. The Enigma of the Gift Maurice Godelier.

When we think of giving gifts, we think of exchanging objects that carry with them economic or symbolic value. Refresh and try again. Finally, can religion be defined? However, Jacques Lacan does not disregard the imaginary and the sacred the way Lhi-Strauss does. The third section of the book relates what is not exchanged to the sacred, which Godelier views as the ultimate alienation, working on both a collective and an individual level.

For more information, or to order this book, please visit https: They may gode,ier be easily reconciled because the question of origins and the interest godeliwr identifying the fundamental nature of social relationships, which figure so prominently in Godelier’s work, are simply not addressed in later work.

Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. Maurice Godelier, known in French socio-anthropology as a specialist of the Ba- ruya in New Guinea, as well as for his contributions toward anthropological the- ory, grapples here with gift anthropology according to Marcel Mauss, its founder.

The Enigma of the Gift

It gives the most elegant analysis we yet have of the landscape that makes satf not just possible but goddlier just religious but, as Weinberger- Thomas sometimes insists, necessary. Fhe, Definitions, and Explanations. Maurice Godelier is a contemporary French anthropologist whose book ‘The Enigma of the Gift’ offers a detailed analysis of the above mentioned essay of Marcel Mauss and develops an original view on reasons why are certain things inalienable.


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On the metamorphosis of an object of trade into a gift object or a sacred object 3. Set your country here to find out accurate prices. Like earlier thinkers, the author analyses things The Enigma of the Gift would be worth reading for this alone. However, he is unable to explain the gkdelier of returning by the supposed spirit immanent in the given object, known as gpdelier theory of hau.

In conclusion, the authoress points out that practical and ethical dimensions are also those features of the gift, which make it an attractive issue for cultural studies. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. The critical analysis of the “floating signifier” is not positioned on the same level as LCvi-Strauss’s hypothesis.

Are sacred objects symbols? Godelier’s discussion of Mauss could be considered an intellectual history, and he is certainly interested in process and change over time. B James rated it liked it Feb 18, Sonny rated it liked it Aug 19, Ironically these efforts are, in part, a legacy of Godelier, whose early remarks on gifting After a fresh analysis of the potlatch and the kula, which lay at the heart of Mauss’s theory, he shows that the engimas which stymied Mauss are resolved once one sees that objects can be at the same time given and kept: