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Social Solidarity and the Gift - Aafke E. Komter

Social Solidarity and the Gift

Hardcover Published: 15th November 2004
ISBN: 9780521841009
Number Of Pages: 246

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This book brings together two traditions of thinking about social ties: sociological theory on solidarity and anthropological theory on gift exchange. The purpose of the book is to explore both how theoretical traditions may complete and enrich each other, and how they may illuminate transformations in solidarity. The main argument, supported by empirical illustrations, is that a theory of solidarity should incorporate some of the core insights from anthropological gift theory. The book presents a theoretical model covering both positive and negative - selective and excluding - aspects and consequences of solidarity. It is concluded that over the past century solidarity has undergone a fundamental transformation, from Durkheim's 'organic' solidarity to a type of solidarity which can be called 'segmented': separate, autonomous social segments connecting with other segments, no longer out of necessity and mutual dependency but on the basis of individual choice. Solidarity has, thereby, become more noncomittal.

'The book is interdisciplinary in intent, seeking to bring together sociological and anthropological theory (on solidarity and the gift respectively) into a productive synthesis. ... Social Solidarity and the Gift is a thoughtful exploration of where it is that kindness gets you, and will be of use and interest to a wide social scientific audience ...' Journal of Social Anthropology

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Gift: Meanings and Motives
The Social Meaning of Thingsp. 15
Things and Social Relationshipsp. 17
Four Different Types of Social Relationshipp. 21
The Four Basic Meanings of Giftsp. 26
Conflicting Social Lives of Thingsp. 30
Things: Markers as Well as Marks of Relationshipp. 31
Patterns of Giving and Receivingp. 34
The Gift: Empirical Researchp. 35
Psychological Functions of Givingp. 43
Motives to Givep. 45
Positive Feelingp. 46
Insecurityp. 47
Power and Prestigep. 47
Reciprocity, Equalityp. 48
Self-Interestp. 48
Hostility, Hate, Contemptp. 49
Fiske's Four Models and the Motives to Givep. 50
Offensive and Embarrassing Giftsp. 52
The Debt Balance: Source of Relational Risksp. 53
The Anatomy of Gratitudep. 56
The Spirit of the Giftp. 58
The Recipient of the Giftp. 64
Gratitude, Reciprocity, and Culturep. 67
Gratitude: The Moral Memory of Mankindp. 67
Gratitude, Power, Dependencep. 69
Gratitude Dissectedp. 71
Women, Gifts, and Powerp. 76
Empirical Research on Women's Gift Givingp. 81
Presents and Money Giftsp. 82
Hospitalityp. 83
Care and Helpp. 83
Blood and Organsp. 84
Four Models to Interpret Women's Gift Givingp. 86
Asymmetrical Reciprocity in Favor of Menp. 86
Equivalent Reciprocityp. 88
Asymmetrical Reciprocity in Favor of Womenp. 90
Alternating Asymmetryp. 91
The Paradox of Female Gift Givingp. 95
Solidarity and Selectivity
Social Theory and Social Tiesp. 101
Classical Theory: Unity of Generosity and Self-Interestp. 103
Affective and Instrumental Bases of Solidarityp. 103
Reciprocity and Morality as Bases of Social Tiesp. 108
Modern Theory: Splitting Up Affection and Utilityp. 112
Solidarity and Rational Choice Theoryp. 112
Norms, Values, and Emotions as Bases of Solidarityp. 115
Combining Anthropological and Sociological Theoryp. 116
Reciprocal Obligationp. 116
Motivesp. 118
Ritualp. 120
Solidarity, Gifts, and Exclusionp. 123
Positive Manifestations of Solidarityp. 125
Giving Moneyp. 125
Giving Timep. 126
Giving Carep. 129
Negative Aspects and Consequences of Solidarityp. 133
The Two-Edged Sword of Solidarityp. 136
The Matthew Effect of Gift Givingp. 138
Philanthropic Particularismp. 139
Inherent Failures of Solidarityp. 142
Family Solidarityp. 144
The Relationship between Generationsp. 147
Family Solidarity: Empirical Researchp. 150
Dimensions of Family Solidarityp. 150
The Nature of Family Tiesp. 152
Intergenerational Solidarity: Values and Beliefsp. 155
Caring for Familyp. 157
The Troubled Side of Family Solidarityp. 159
Macro- and Microsolidarityp. 162
Family Solidarity: Solid but Ambivalentp. 165
Contemporary Solidarity
Changing Solidarityp. 169
Changing Society, Changing Individualsp. 171
Individualization and Social Tiesp. 171
The Assertive Selfp. 173
Diversification and Uncertainty amid Strangersp. 175
Globalization and the New Societyp. 177
Changes in Contemporary Solidarityp. 179
Traditional Solidarityp. 180
Local and Global Solidarityp. 181
Civil Solidarityp. 184
Transformed Solidarityp. 187
Solidarity and the Giftp. 189
The Gift: Meanings and Motivesp. 190
Solidarity and Selectivityp. 192
Contemporary Solidarityp. 194
Solidarity and the Giftp. 195
Recognition of the Otherp. 195
Social Distancep. 197
Motives for Solidarityp. 199
Reciprocity: Gift and Sacrificep. 201
Toward a Theoretical Model of Solidarityp. 205
From Organic to Segmented Solidarityp. 208
Referencesp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521841009
ISBN-10: 0521841003
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 246
Published: 15th November 2004
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 15.8  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.45