Marcel Mauss: The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (1925–) [FR, EN, DE, RO]

20 November 2012, dusan

The Gift is a short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss and is the foundation of social theories of reciprocity and gift exchange.

It is perhaps the first systematic study of the custom, widespread in primitive societies from ancient Rome to present-day Melanesia, of exchanging gifts. The gift is conceived as a transaction forming part of all human, personal relationships between individuals and groups. These gift exchanges are at the same time moral, economic, juridical, aesthetic, religious, mythological and social phenomena.

The Gift has been very influential in anthropology, where there is a large field of study devoted to reciprocity and exchange. It has also influenced philosophers, artists and political activists, including Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida and more recently the work of David Graeber.”

French edition
Essai sur le don: Forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques
Publisher Librairie Félix Alcan, Paris, 1925
157 pages
via Gallica

English edition
Translated by Ian Cunnison
With an Introduction by E. E. Evans-Pritchard
Publisher Cohen & West, London, 1966
130 pages

Another English edition
Translated by W. D. Halls
With a foreword by Mary Douglas
Publisher Routledge, London/New York, 1990
ISBN 041526748X
200 pages

New English edition
Edited, annotated and translated by Jane I. Guyer
Foreword by Bill Maurer
Publisher Hau Books, Chicago, 2016
ISBN 9780990505006
248 pages


Essai sur le don (French, 1923-24/1925)
The Gift (English, 1966)
The Gift (English, 1990)
Die Gabe (German, added on 2014-2-6, DJVU)
Eseu despre dar (Romanian, trans. Silvia Lupescu, 1993; new edition, 1997, added on 2013-6-3, via sorin, updated on 2019-6-10)
The Gift: Expanded Edition (English, trans. Jane I. Guyer, 2016, added on 2016-4-24, updated on 2019-6-10: removed from Open Access by publisher)

3 Responses to “Marcel Mauss: The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (1925–) [FR, EN, DE, RO]”

  1. sorin on June 3, 2013 1:43 pm

    i posted the Romamian version []
    Iasi, Polirom Publishing House, 1997

  2. sorin on May 25, 2019 12:17 pm, added the 1st Romanian trans.!
    * The 1997 ed. (Polirom ed.) is a new version!

  3. sorin on June 5, 2019 9:37 am

    pls Dusan, UPDATE :)

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