The Enigma Of The Gift

plz read and answer the prompt questions.

  • Module 7 – Discussion Board (Click on “Discussion Board” in your left navigation column and then click on “Discussion Board 7” to compose your posting).
    • In 1999, French Anthropologist Maurice Godelier wrote a volume to explain the ambiguity surrounding the act of gift giving. The title of his work was The Enigma of the Gift. In this work, Godelier expanded on the theme given in another work titled Inalienable Possessions (1992), written by American anthropologist Annette Weiner. In this latter work, Weiner postulated her thesis that the gift giving is a paradox, because it is essentially an act of keeping while giving. You may also recall, French anthropologist Marcel Mauss who first brought the act of gift giving to the attention of anthropological circles in 1925 with his seminal essay The Gift (Essai sur le don) pointed out that the gift exchange takes the form of ‘total prestation’ or ‘total contract.’
    • Explain the enigma surrounding the act of gift giving while answering the following questions:
    • Why do these anthropologists characterize an act of generosity like gift giving as enigmatic? How do you understand their reasoning in this regard?
    • While presenting his thesis, Marcel Mauss pointed out that the gift is a form of self deception by which domination is mostly disguised. How do you read his thesis?
    • Anthropologists have given evidence (for example, Lee Cronk, 2009) to the effect that the gift giving, a seemingly benevolent act may be used to ‘fight’ people, to ‘flatten’ them with generosity, and thereby, to gain position and prestige for the giver. Can you find similar evidence of antagonistic generosity from your own society? Be specific with your answer.