Courses of Study 2017-2018 
    Dec 14, 2018  
Courses of Study 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

[Add to Favorites]

ANTHR 3406 - [Gifts and Exchange]

Spring. Next offered 2019-2020. 4 credits. Student option grading.

H. Miyazaki.

One of the core messages of anthropology is that reciprocity is a foundational principle of social life. This course critically interrogates the idea of reciprocity through an in-depth investigation of various examples of gift giving from rituals of gift giving in the Pacific Islands and East Asia to organ donations and the idea of gifts from God in Christian theology. Using these diverse examples, we will explore some of the most fundamental questions concerning the nature of giving. Are there free gifts? Can one be truly altruistic and give without expecting to be reciprocated? Why do people delay reciprocating? What moral problems does money pose when it is given as a gift? What are the differences and similarities between gifts to humans and gifts to god(s)?

[Add to Favorites]