Kritik-der-Gabe. (c) Gabriel Li CRITIQUE OF THE GIFT
© Sougata Sinha
The concept of the gift articulates the idea of an exchange that transcends economic calculations. In combination with practices of sharing, it supports alternative forms of social coordination. While it originally gained prominence in the field of cultural anthropology – for example, in connection with Marcel Mauss –, it has, in recent years, also gained traction outside of academic circles. During the workshop, “Critique of the Gift,” both theorists and practitioners will discuss the following questions: Are the social practices that are considered to be forms of alternative exchange not partly based on conditions that are overlooked in the praise of the gift? Are some of the practices not those of privileged groups which are only made possible by access to public funds and therefore anything but a self-supporting alternative? Are others not so much chosen because of their attractiveness, but rather last-ditch emergency solutions on the part of marginalized groups, as we can see in today’s Greece?