Sharing: Allowing others to take what is valued
SourceHau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 3, 2, (2013), pp. 11-31
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Sharing adds a paradox to the question of transfer and value: Why do people share what they value even though they cannot count on a return? This contribution breaks with the conventional assumption that practices of sharing are simple prestages of more complex reciprocal gift-exchange or commodity transactions. Instead I consider sharing to be a complex social phenomenon that makes rather specific requirements in regard to bodily copresence, relatedness, and interaction. Based on ethnographic field research I also suggest that forms of “demand sharing” should not be considered to be aberrations since they conform particularly well to the values enshrined in sharing.
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