Book

The Gift Economy

Authors:
Article
The article offers a fresh perspective on the social value of paid care, and how we, as a society, can assign its full value. The social importance of paid care is highly reliant on the nonmarket attributes of the care offered. Thus, care is extremely valuable when it is bestowed with loving presence, kindness, and concern. The nonmarket characteristics of care work establish unique types of ties that transform egoistic individuals into a human society. However, the social import of this work is not acknowledged when we rely on the market to reflect care's value. Flattening the value of care solely based on its market dimension may lead to care being emptied of its nonmarket elements over time, transforming the essence of care, the relationships within which care is given as well as the identity and social fabric of the welfare state. To sustain and foster the nonmarket attributes of paid care, the article proposes a theoretical notion of reciprocity—rather than exchange—on the axis between the family, the community, and the state as a way to ascribe nonmonetized value to these attributes.
Article
Full-text available
We will try to show the potential of a research perspective that we have tentatively called an Institutional Economics of Gift (IEG). For this purpose, we dwell on two key issues that any nascent research perspective is expected to address: the subject matter and the method. Without any claim to exhaustiveness, the subject matter of an IEG will be explored through the analysis of three important forms of institutionalized gift-giving: the welfare state, the third sector, and the percentage philanthropy tax scheme. All of them raise the issue: to what extent gift-giving can be institutionalized and even legally enforced without losing some of its characteristics such as spontaneity, freedom and/or voluntariness? Moreover, this investigation points to the need to reflect more on the relationship between obligation and freedom as well as to go beyond the State/Market dichotomy. Methods will be explored by addressing the question: which methodological approaches are most suitable for an IEG? Methodology is a contentious issue between Original Institutional Economics and New Institutional Economics. However, both approaches, New Institutional Economics implicitly and Original Institutional Economics explicitly, tend to rely on qualitative and mixed empirical research methods. Particular emphasis is placed on anthropology and ethnography.
Article
Hybrid gifting combines physical artefacts and experiences with digital interactivity to generate new kinds of gifts. Our review details how gifting is a complex social phenomenon and how digital gifting is less engaging than physical gifting for both givers and receivers. Employing a Research Through Design approach, we developed a portfolio of four hybrid gifting experiences: an augmented advent calendar; edible music tracks; personalized museum tours; and a narrated city walk. Our reflection addresses three concepts: hybrid wrapping where physical gifts become wrapped in digital media and vice versa; the importance of effortful interactions that are visible and pleasurable; and the need to consider social obligation, including opportunities for acknowledgement and reciprocation, dealing with embarrassment, and recognizing the distinction between giving and sharing. Our concepts provide guidance to practitioners who wish to design future gifting experiences while helping HCI researchers engage with the concept of gifting in a nuanced way.
Article
Full-text available
How can gift and gift-giving studies be relevant to the study of institutions and vice versa? This is the question we broadly address in the introduction to this symposium while drawing on the contributing articles and sketching out a possible future research in a perspective of integration between these two fields of study. Is the gift an institution? What types of methodological approaches would be most suitable in view of such integration? We define the gift as transfers underpinned by institutions, including customs and norms. We contend that the institutional thought can employ empirical and qualitative research methods used by anthropology and that there are important and fruitful lines of tension between gift-giving and institutions – from the relationship between freedom and obligation to the role of third sector between state and market – worthy of further research in the future.
Article
Full-text available
The focus in this article is on the evolution of language and technology in relation to multilingualism, in particular on how multilingual provision has developed in tandem with the development of the internet and the World Wide Web (WWW). In trying to understand how multilingualism has evolved, it is also necessary to understand how the technical aspects of digital technology as well as the politico-economic dimensions to that technology have changed. Four distinct periods emerge in the development: monolingualism, multilingualism, hyperlingualism, and idiolingualism. Monolingualism covers the origins of the internet and later the WWW as monolingual spaces. This was followed by a long period that charts the slow but gradual development of increased language provision and what I am terming “partial multilingualism.” Multilingualism expanded substantially, potentially limitlessly, with the development of Web 2.0. This has involved the diversification of online spaces to the point of “hyperlingualism.” I argue that we are still in this hyperlingual phase, but alongside it, a new phase is developing, that of “idiolingualism” as a result of mass linguistic customization. In this article, I discuss these phases, paying attention to both their technical and economic contexts, as well as their implications for linguistic diversity online and in wider society.
Article
Full-text available
The relational dimension of gratitude requires social psychology to (re)think theoretical and methodological constructs, in order to express the complexity of gratitude’s new features. I have tried to present an unexplored feature of gratitude: the asymmetry. In particular, I discussed whether or not gratitude can be characterized by an asymmetrical relation. Relationships are based on ‘power plays’, in which the expression of gratitude could be an ‘asymmetric sentiment’ that goes just in one direction. The presence of ‘gratitude of duty’, ‘gratitude of acquiescence’ and ‘gratitude of convenience’ was supposed to explain the bond between a low-power and high-power actor. In the second part, it is developed a model of gratitude as a triadic system of relationships. This theoretical reflection should be the starting point for a future research that will focus on developing new methods of data collection, able to capture the complexity of the ‘asymmetric sentiment’ of gratitude.
Conference Paper
We investigate the temporal ownership boundary that exists in the sharing economy. We find that temporal factors play an important role in the decisions of collaborative contribution. A collaborative contributor need not only consider the engagement duration and the potential income, but also the holding/inventory/maintenance costs during its ownership. We define the temporal ownership boundary as the limit when the owner is indifferent of transferring the ownership from its current in-usage or sharing status. By this definition, we can decompose a merchandise as two substitute goods: the ownership good and the transferring good. The ownership good can be consumed or shared by the owner. The transferring good can either be given as a gift or be resold for an income. The temporal ownership boundary can be found by considering the owner’s holding cost, various transaction costs, and the potential income from the sharing economy activities. We find that there exists various conditions when this boundary may lean towards sharing, gift giving or reselling.
Article
Unpaid work has long been used in nonprofit/voluntary social services to extend paid work. Drawing on three case studies of nonprofit social services in Canada, this article argues that due to austerity policies, the conditions for ‘pure’ gift relationships in unpaid social service work are increasingly rare. Instead, employers have found various ways to ‘fill the gaps’ in funding through the extraction of unpaid work in various forms. Precarious workers are highly vulnerable to expectations that they will ‘volunteer’ at their places of employment, while expectations that students will undertake unpaid internships is increasing the norm for degree completion and procurement of employment, and full-time workers often use unpaid work as a form of resistance. This article contributes to theory by advancing a spectrum of unpaid nonprofit social service work as compelled and coerced to varying degrees in the context of austerity policies and funding cutbacks.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.