Giancarlo Provasi

Gift, Reciprocity, Social Obligation. The Ever Topical Lesson of M. Mauss's The Gift

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Gift; Reciprocity; Social Obligation; Civil Society; Marcel Mauss.

Mauss's classical essay is ever more topical today, in the face of the moral crisis of late modernity, which affects the functioning of markets and public institutions. The paper highlights Mauss's idea that the gift is not only governed by the logic of generosity but also by that of rank competition and may thus establish positive and negative social relations. This allows us to understand the social force of gift, as well as its inherent dangers. The concluding part of the paper examines the opportunities and the risks inherent in the revitalization of civil society as the place of solidarity arising from the gift.

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