An anthropology of giving


Podcast "Philanthropy in question(s)" - Episode 1

An anthropology of giving - Marcel Mauss

In this first episode, we take you to the heart of a work you've probably already heard of: the Essay on Giving (1923-1924) by Marcel Mauss (1872-1950). Discover how this famous text by this renowned anthropologist can enlighten our vision and understanding of contemporary philanthropy.

This podcast is only available in French.

The four main ideas of the article:

In this episode, Anne Monier returns to the five main ideas developed by Marcel Mauss in his Essay on Giving:

  • The gift is universal.

  • The gift is a complex phenomenon that Mauss describes as a "total social phenomena".

  • The gift is an exchange: gift / counter-gift.

  • The importance of the symbolic aspects of giving.

  • The way of giving is as important as the gift itself.

➡️ Listen to the whole episode to find out more!

Other articles on the topic

  • Mauss M., Essai sur le don, Forme et Raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques, Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 2007 [1924]

  • Silber I., « 23. La philanthropie moderne à la lumière de Marcel Mauss », dans : Philippe Chanial éd., La société vue du don. Manuel de sociologie anti-utilitariste appliquée. Paris, La Découverte, "TAP/Bibliothèque du MAUSS", 2008, p. 364-380

  • Hanson J. H., "The Anthropology of Giving: Toward A Cultural Logic of Charity," Journal of Cultural Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), 2015, pages 501-520

  • Nayrou F., « "Essai sur le don". L'inquiétante oralité dans l'ombre de la structure », Revue française de psychanalyse, 2001/5 (Vol. 65), p. 1507-1520

  • Levi-Strauss C., « Introduction à l’œuvre de Marcel Mauss », in Mauss Marcel, Sociologie et anthropologie, Paris : Les Presses universitaires de France, 1968, Quatrième édition

  • Carrier J., “Gifts, Commodities, and Social Relations: A Maussian View of Exchange.” Sociological Forum, vol. 6, no. 1, 1991, pp. 119–136

Other episodes with related themes

Listen to all episodes of our podcast "Philanthropy in Question(s)"

Every last Wednesday of the month, in an episode of about 10 minutes, we share the discoveries of a researcher on philanthropy in France or internationally, all disciplines included. The goal? To give research a place in everyday life, to contribute to critical thinking and to shed light on societal issues through the prism of philanthropy. Dive with us into the heart of research on giving!

Also to be discovered: "Towards Strategic Philanthropy"

Based on interviews with philanthropists and professionals in the philanthropy sector, this podcast from the ESSEC Philanthropy Chair introduces you to the 5 key dimensions of philanthropy strategy: value, logical framework, style, time horizon and vehicle. The embodiment of the learnings from the book Towards Strategic Philanthropy published by Peter Frumkin, Anne-Claire Pache and Arthur Gautier at Odile Jacob in 2020. To your headphones!

Podcast Vers une philanthropie stratégique

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