Of cabbages and kin the value of an analytic distinction between gifts and commodities

Michael Goddard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article argues for the maintenance of the traditional anthropological analytic distinction between gifts and commodities, against a recent trend to refer to all objects as commodities when exchange is their socially relevant feature. It examines Marx's notions of alienation and commodity fetishism in the context of human praxis and suggests that rigorous, rather than impressionistic, use of these analytic concepts in anthropology can clarify a distinction between gifts and commodities in relation to praxis and intention, rather than exchange.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages15
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Volume20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ■ alienation ■
  • Commodity fetishism ■
  • Intersubjectivity ■
  • Objectification ■
  • Praxis

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