Gifts of Cooperation, Mauss and Pragmatism

Gifts of Cooperation, Mauss and Pragmatism

by Frank Adloff




This book focuses on the contribution of Marcel Mauss (1872-1950) to social theory and a theory of cooperation. It shows that Mauss’s essay "The Gift" (1925) can be seen as a classic of a pragmatist, interactionist and anti-utilitarian sociology. It critiques the dichotomy of self-interest and normatively orientated action that forms the basis of sociology. This conceptual dichotomization has caused forms of social interaction (that cannot be localized either on the side of self-interest or on that of morality) to be overlooked or taken little notice of. The book argues that it is the logic of the gift and its reciprocity that accompany and structure all forms of interaction, from the social micro to the macro-level. It demonstrates that in modern societies agonistic and non-agonistic gifts form their own orders of interaction.

This book uniquely establishes the paradigm of the gift as the basis for a theory of interaction. It will be of great interest to researchers and postgraduates in social theory, cultural theory, political sociology and global cooperation, anthropology, philosophy and politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815359258
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 01/17/2018
Pages: 183
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.20(h) x (d)

About the Author

Frank Adloff is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Sociology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Table of Contents


Part 1 Marcel Mauss and the Foundations of a Theory of Gift-Giving

1. A Dichotomy in Action Theory

2. Marcel Mauss and the French Tradition in Social Theory

3. Mauss’s Gift

4. In Conflict of Interpretations: Rereading ‘The Gift’

Part 2 Homo donator: Pragmatism and the Ability to Give

5. A Pragmatist Action Model

6. Pragmatism on Creativity, Cooperation, and Radical Democracy

Part 3 Locating the Gift in Modern Society

7. The Orders of the Gift: Ordinary and Extraordinary Gifts

8. Constituting the ‘Game’ of Gifts

9. What Motivates Giving?

10. Language, Gift, and Symbolic Media of Communication

11. Micro/Macro: Where’s the Gift?

12. Commodities, Value, and the Gift: Marx, Mauss, and Polanyi

13. Mauss and Money

14. The Politics of Sacrifice

Part 4: Applications: Gifts of Cooperation

15. Mauss’s Socio-Economic Vision Then and Now: Socialism, Cooperatives, and Solidarity Economy

16. The Gift in Civil Society and Philanthropy

17. Conviviality and Convivialism: Practice and Theory

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