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Working paper

Теория дарообмена и формирование сообществ

Ларкина Т. Ю., Юдин Г. Б.
Since its inception social science has been concerned with producing solidarity from social atomization. How divided individuals can be united in a persistent community? How collective life and working towards common good can transcend narrow self-interest? In this paper we approach these questions from the perspective of the theory of gift exchange. Gift exchange reveals the fundamental principles of human social nature, which drive men to form communities. This kind of motivation can by no means be reduced to utility maximization, but combines the striving for giving and receiving with hunger for social status. We shall explore these motives within several key topics: the logic of gift exchange, structure of gift exchange communities and distribution of power in them, relationship between gift exchange and capitalist economy, constitution and experience of time within structures of gift exchange, function of the transcendent in gift giving. Special attention will be paid to the role of gift relationships in the building of religious communities.