Traveling Objects and Spatial Images: Exchange Relationships and the Production of Social Space

  • Marisa Lazzari

The anthropological concern about gift exchange drew attention to the fact that people exchange things that are not necessary from the point of view of basic subsistence (Mauss, 1925; Strathern, 1992:169). Consequently, from the beginning of the 20th century, the exploration of the principles by which people need to exchange at all has been a subject of central importance. Quite often this search ended with the answer that people need to build a socially integrated life, and that these transactions help towards that integration (Strathern, 1992). However, exchange theory has been lately reconfigured in anthropology, focusing the debate on the ambiguities and heterogeneities in exchanges more than in normative or homogeneous aspects (Weiner, 1992:17). Following this line, understanding the roots of exchange relationships requires the re-evaluation of some concepts, such as space, value and reciprocity.


Material Culture Power Relationship Exchange Relationship Formative Period Social Reproduction 
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© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York 2005

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  • Marisa Lazzari

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