Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The Gift, the Indian Gift and the 'Indian Gift'

Jonathan Parry
Man
New Series, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Sep., 1986), pp. 453-473
DOI: 10.2307/2803096
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2803096
Page Count: 21
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($20.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Gift, the Indian Gift and the 'Indian Gift'
Preview not available

Abstract

This article criticises much of the conventional exegesis of Mauss's celebrated Essai sur le don, and proposes a rather different reading of the text which stresses its evolutionary aspects. The Hindu 'law of the gift' is shown to have a key role in the structure of Mauss's argument, though in fact it is quite inconsistent with his central thesis. In this particular instance he was right where anthropologists have generally thought him wrong, and wrong where anthropologists have generally thought him right. In the Maori case, however, his interpretation has much more to recommend it than has generally been recognised. Hindu and Maori ideologies of exchange represent fundamentally opposed types; and it is suggested that we might begin to account for this kind of contrast in terms of broad differences in politico-economy, and-more especially-in terms of the contrast between a World Religion and the kind of religion characteristic of small-scale tribal society. Following Mauss, an ideology of the 'pure' gift is shown to be inseparable from the ideology of the purely interested individual pursuit of utility, and to emerge in parallel to it.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[453]
    [453]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
454
    454
  • Thumbnail: Page 
455
    455
  • Thumbnail: Page 
456
    456
  • Thumbnail: Page 
457
    457
  • Thumbnail: Page 
458
    458
  • Thumbnail: Page 
459
    459
  • Thumbnail: Page 
460
    460
  • Thumbnail: Page 
461
    461
  • Thumbnail: Page 
462
    462
  • Thumbnail: Page 
463
    463
  • Thumbnail: Page 
464
    464
  • Thumbnail: Page 
465
    465
  • Thumbnail: Page 
466
    466
  • Thumbnail: Page 
467
    467
  • Thumbnail: Page 
468
    468
  • Thumbnail: Page 
469
    469
  • Thumbnail: Page 
470
    470
  • Thumbnail: Page 
471
    471
  • Thumbnail: Page 
472
    472
  • Thumbnail: Page 
473
    473