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Sociology of Giving
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Sociology of Giving

First Edition


March 1999 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book decodes the ambivalence of gift-giving. It examines its socio-ethical and integrative potential. Following a short recollection of contemporary gift-giving, its motives, occasions and its rules, the reader is invited to travel back in time and space examining 'sacrifice', 'food-sharing', and 'gift giving' as those basic institutions upon which symbolic orders of 'traditional' society rely. The historical invention of hospitality is considered and paves the way to an analysis of the anthropology of giving.

Berking goes on to explore the transition from traditional society to the market, self interest form. He questions the view that our societies are dominated by individualism and explores the contemporary interplay between self interest and the common good.

 
PART ONE: THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF GIFT-GIVING
 
Motives
 
Occasions
 
Emotional Norms
 
PART TWO: TOWARDS AN ANTHROPOLOGY OF GIVING
 
The Gift
 
The Sacrifice
 
Distribution of the Sacrifice
 
Attributions
 
PART THREE: TRANSITIONS
 
Ideal Constructions
 
Beyond Necessity
 
PART FOUR: MORALITY AND SOCIETY
 
Individualization and the Common Welfare
 
The Solidarity of Individualism

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