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The reciprocity of perspectives

Roy Wagner

As a tactic of cognitive self‐awareness, the reciprocity of perspectives is not so much a subjective metric for intercultural comparison as it is an internalised property of human sentience, which I label as a subject/object shift: the transposition of ends and means. Understood most broadly as a universal application of the double proportional comparison, made famous by Claude Lévi‐Strauss as the canonical formula for myth, the reciprocity of perspectives, instead of opposing the innate and the artificial (e.g. ‘nature’ and ‘culture’) to one another, presupposes a reciprocal, self‐contradiction between the two. I examine the self‐transformative and tactical character of the reciprocity of perspectives and its effects on language itself, which ceases to be an instrument of communication and takes on the role of communicator or persuader – that of the user rather than the tool.

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Shakespeare, Reciprocity and Exchange

John Drakakis

constitutive and contingent, and not confined to a capitalist economy, and he seeks to explore its evolution over time through an anthropological investigation of ‘the reciprocity of the gift’. 9 He begins by identifying three types of exchange: firstly, a

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Giving and Taking without Reciprocity

Conversations in South India and the Anthropology of Ethics

Soumhya Venkatesan

This article constitutes an intervention in the anthropology of ethics through a discussion of conversations about instances of religious alms/charitable giving where there is no expectation of direct reciprocity. I argue that this kind of ‘ethical

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Taxes for Independence

Rejecting a Fiscal Model of Reciprocity in Peri-urban Bolivia

Miranda Sheild Johansson

of whom are bilingual in Quechua or Aymara and Spanish, and who self-identify as indigenous or originario (first people). 1 The main argument forwarded here is that the model of reciprocity and social contract thinking, which governments and social

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Facing bureaucratic uncertainty in the Bolsa Família Program

Clientelism beyond reciprocity and economic rationality

Flávio Eiró and Martijn Koster

Scholarly understandings of clientelism are usually divided between those centering on moral values and reciprocity and those based on economic rationality. In this article, by focusing on the point of view of the “clients,” we show how these two

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‘Master, Slave and Merciless Struggle’

Sin and Lovelessness in Sartre's Saint Genet

Kate Kirkpatrick

But the account Sartre gives of Genet's person is a loveless one in which there is no reciprocity, others are ‘empty shells’ and love is ‘only the lofty name which [Genet] gives to onanism’ ( G , 530). I have argued elsewhere that Sartre's ontology of

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The Anthropology of Grace and the Grace of Anthropology

Michael Edwards and Méadhbh McIvor

reciprocity and exchange, the analysis of which has tended to render grace—the ultimate ‘free gift’—as a logical impossibility (cf. Laidlaw 2000 ). 1 Less easily explicable is the fact that grace has not figured more centrally in the anthropology of religion

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The Democracy of Everyday Life in Disaster

Holding Our Lives in Their Hands

Nancy L. Rosenblum

one another. That is, the good neighbor is not the good citizen writ small. The principal norm among neighbors is reciprocity. Reciprocity is loose and open-ended. It applies to good turns and bad, to giving and receiving recognition (“how are you

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Alms, Money and Reciprocity

Buddhist Nuns as Mediators of Generalised Exchange in Thailand

Joanna Cook

In this paper I examine the part that women, in the ambiguous role of Buddhist nun (mae chee), now take in the emblematic Buddhist practice of alms donations. The monastic office of 'mae chee' is complicated. It is conveyed through the ritual adoption of religious vows and is usually undertaken for life. However, mae chee ordination is only partial and its status is far below that of monks. In Thai law mae chee are regarded as pious laywomen (upasikas) and the Department of Religious Affairs does not mention them in its annual report. Even so, because they are said to have renounced the world they do not have the right to vote. Owing to this ambiguity mae chee are able to employ both the ascetic practices of renouncers (such as accepting alms) and those of laywomen (such as offering alms). Mae chee, while debarred from the alms round, both receive alms from the laity and donate alms to monks. Furthermore, mae chee receive monetary alms from the laity on behalf of the monastic community as a whole. I argue that by handling money given to the monastic community mae chee mediate in a relationship of generalised reciprocity between the monastic community and the lay society. By donating alms to monks, mae chee appear to be reaffirming their status of partial ordination, yet in order for them to be able to receive alms donations from the laity they must see themselves, and be recognised by the laity, as an integral part of the monastic community. A nuanced understanding of these economic, religious and gendered roles is crucial to our understanding of the incorporation of women into the monastic community and the ways in which gift practices are related to interpersonal and group dynamics in the context of modern Thai monasticism.

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Échange, don, réciprocité

l'acte de 'donner' chez Simmel et Durkheim

Luca Guizzardi and Luca Martignani

This focuses on a key topic for comparison of two masters of sociological thought, Georg Simmel and Émile Durkheim: the question of giving in the context of social exchange. Durkheim deals with the issue in introducing the concept of organic solidarity, based on the division of social labour and implying the interdependence of individuals. This representation of solidarity links with the interest in credit and debt relations in Simmel's philosophy of money and with a perspective in which reciprocity is conceived as one of the main sociological functions involved in the representation of social bonds. After a comparison of Durkheim and Simmel's theories of reciprocity, a specific case discussed is the mortgage, conceived as a paradigm of the shape assumed by the immaterial reality of reciprocity in institutional and everyday life.