Politics of the Gift

Towards a Convivial Society

By Frank Adloff

Published

Oct 28, 2022

Page count

192 pages

Series

Alternatives to Capitalism in the 21st Century

ISBN

978-1529226225

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Oct 28, 2022

Page count

192 pages

Series

Alternatives to Capitalism in the 21st Century

ISBN

978-1529226249

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Politics of the Gift

At the heart of capitalism lies the idea of ‘homo economicus’: an ever-rational human being motivated by self-interest which arguably leads societies to economic prosperity.

Drawing on French sociologist Marcel Mauss' influential theory of ‘the gift’, Frank Adloff shatters this fallacy to show mutual trust is the only glue that holds societies together; people are giving beings and they can cooperate for the benefit of all when the logic of all when the logic of maximizing personal gain in capitalism is broken.

Acknowledging the role of women, nature and workers in the Global South in transforming society, this book proposes a politics of conviviality, (from Latin con-vivere: living together), for global and environmental justice as an alternative to the pursuit of profit, growth and consumption.

“A convivial transformation of our society can no longer merely be hoped for; everything around us signals that this is a must. Frank Adloff's book is indispensable reading to (re)turn to the language and practices of giving, care and solidarity.” Francesca Forno, University of Trento

Frank Adloff is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hamburg and the co-director of the Humanities Centre for Advanced Studies, Futures of Sustainability.

Introduction: From Capitalism’s Crises to a Convivial Society

Part 1: An Anthropology of Giving

1. Self-interest, Altruism, and the Gift

2. Mauss’ Gift

3. 'Homo donator': A Different Anthropology

Part 2: Society’s Gifts

4. Locating the Gift in Society

5. The Gift between Socialism and Capitalism

6. Commodities, Values, Money, Gifts

Part 3: Crossing the Borders

7. Science and Technology, Nature and Conviviality

8. Gifts of Nature

9. Civil Society, Conviviality, Utopia

Part 4: Worlds of Conviviality

10. Aesthetic Freedom; or: The Gift of Art

11. Pluriversalism: Towards a European and Global Politics of Conviviality

Conclusion