Lecture 2: Marcel Mauss and Gift Exchange
Marcel Mauss's "The Gift: In this regard, "Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic
Societies" becomes a significant publication within the domains of anthropology and sociology,
investigating the significance of gift-gifts, reciprocity, and how they impact different
societies. This was published in 1925 and is regarded as one of the benchmarks in the topic
considering its detailed examination of the gifts' social, economic, and symbolic aspects.
Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses in Marcel Mauss' work.
The work and teachings of Marcel Mauss are still relevant in the current world. What he does is
theoretically sophisticated but empirically based and holistic and interdisciplinary (
1994). There have been many criticisms on this work but it is indispensable as a reading material
on sociological phenomenon.
: The work of Mauss is considered to be highly theoretical and
rigorous (Douglas, 1992). He used ethnography, history, philosophy, and other relevant
sources to support his claims. This offered him an opportunity to contribute significantly
towards the development of anthropological theory (Graeber, 2001). A famous
ethnographer, Marcel Mauss contributed greatly to the advancement of the
anthropological theory especially with regard to the book 'the gift' (Goddard,
2000). Mauss's analysis of gift exchange is now considered as the classic masterpiece
that has prompted great amount of academic discussion and debates within anthropology
(El-Haddad et al., 2020). His work is highly theoretical, based on multi sources, including
ethnographic data, philosophical analysis, as well as historical accounts (El-Haddad et al.,