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Repaying and Cherishing the Gift of Life

Gift Exchange and Living-related Kidney Transplantation in the Philippines

Yosuke Shimazono

This paper considers living-related kidney transplantation, especially that between family members in the Philippines. Drawing on the anthropological theory of gift, it explores two aspects of the gift relationship—the relationship between the donor and the recipient and the relationship between the recipient and the object—and describes two categories of acts—'acknowledging the debt/repaying the gift of life' and 'taking care of a kidney/cherishing the gift'. This paper seeks to show that there is an internal tension in live kidney transplantation between two rival principles of gift operative in the world of Filipino family and kinship: one akin to the Maussian or 'archaic' gift and the other that places cherishing of the gift over repaying of the debt.

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'If I Receive It, It Is a Gift; If I Demand It, Then It Is a Bribe'

On the Local Meaning of Economic Transactions in Post-Soviet Ukraine

Abel Polese

Challenging the main reports of corruption in Ukraine, this article proposes that most of the 'economic transactions' that are reported as bribe taking have a deeper meaning and can be analysed within the framework of gift exchange proposed by Marcel Mauss. This paper thus focuses on the three alleged most 'corrupted' places in Ukraine: a university, a hospital and a police control post, in order to develop a detailed analysis of the meanings behind these transactions. Furthermore, it examines the particular role that social actors take within these arrangements. Finally, I propose the recognition of a grey zone between corruptions as evident in the ethnographic examples analysed in the course of this paper.

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Trading Futures

Sadaqah, social enterprise, and the polytemporalities of development gifts

Tom Widger and Filippo Osella

, a non-profit initiative of a wealthy Muslim family originating in a gift of sadaqah (voluntary charity) delivered via the corporate social responsibility (CSR) team of the company they own, was one of three options for medical treatment available

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Denise Carter

With the continuing movement of social life into new types of places such as cyberspace the function and meaning of gift-exchange has emerged as being an important anthropological tool for the investigation of social relations online. In cyberspace several fascinating questions come into light, for example: what kinds of gifts are exchanged in cyberspace; how are these gifts exchanged there and what does the exchange of gifts in cyberspace signify? An analysis of the 'gift of time' is particularly pertinent when investigating friendship in virtual communities because gift exchange in cyberspace can be related to notions of reciprocity and trust. For example, my own ethnographic research in Cybertown, a virtual community on the Internet, suggests that one important concept for friendship in Cybertown is the exchange of the 'gift of time', and highlights its role in the creation of trust and reciprocity. In explaining this phenomenon, this paper examines the function and meaning of gift exchange in Cybertown in relation to contemporary theoretical notions of the gift, explains what kinds of obligations gifts engender and what role gift practices play in creating networks of friendship.

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The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable

Commission for Religious Relationships with the Jews

Henry Wansbrough

I have been asked to introduce the discussion by a brief introduction to the document ‘The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable’ itself. I should, however, first introduce myself and my fairly unusual situation. I stand on both sides of the

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The Filipino Seafarer

A Life Between Sacrifice and Shopping

Gunnar M. Lamvik

The central theme in this article is a highlighting of the way in which the life of the Filipino seafarer continues to be interwoven with that of his family. The seafarers are portrayed as products of and for their families, both in the sense that the family appears as the major motive for leaving and that close kin o en play an intrinsic role as facilitators for the actual departure. Also the extensive and complex financial contribution of the seafarer towards his family, together with certain extraordinary knowledge obtained through his occupation find their place in the outline of the Filipino seafarer as a family-based enterprise.

The article also contains a brief theoretical outline of the labour migration phenomenon, besides a discussion of the coping aspect in a seafaring profession. Life at sea is portrayed as a highly repetitive and deprived universe, which demands the use of certain coping strategies in order to make daily life appear meaningful for the seamen. Crucial in the seafarers' struggle for significance lie metaphor and the gift.

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Anna Sapir Abulafia

The Gifts and the Calling of God are ‘Irrevocable’ celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of Nostra Aetate, and rightly so. 1 For all its limitations, Nostra Aetate heralded a new beginning in relations between Catholics and Jews

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Janet Burden

friends, no one saw being single as a condition to be cured. For the first time in my life, the thought that I might end up single didn’t seem so scary. Being single didn’t have to mean being alone. That thought was so freeing, so affirming – it was a gift

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Dave Elder-Vass

The significance of giving as a contemporary socio-economic practice has been obscured both by mainstream economics and by the influence of the anthropological tradition. Andrew Sayer’s concept of moral economy offers a more fruitful framework for an economic sociology of contemporary giving, and one that appears to be largely consistent with social quality approaches. This article analyzes giving from the perspective of moral economy, questioning the view that giving is a form of exchange, and opening up the prospect of seeing it as the outcome of a more complex constellation of causal factors. It uses examples from the digital economy, in particular the phenomenon of open-source software, which nicely illustrates both the progressive potential of digital gifts and the ways in which they can be absorbed into the commercial economy.

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The Ethics of Collective Sponsorship

Virtuous Action and Obligation in Contemporary Tibet

Jane Caple

anthropology, is to look beyond the social and economic functions of the Buddhist gift to explore its moral dimensions. The ethnographic record gives us some insight into the diversity of different forms and modes of religious giving (see, e.g., Rozenberg 2004