paiblauer | Student

According to Marcel Mauss in his essay, "The Gift," the value of the gift is not necessarily in the gift’s monetary value itself, rather it is in the value of the exchange and what the gift encourages or enhances, such as a relationship. For example, a homemade paper birthday card given from one friend to another may not have any monetary worth, but the thought and sentimentality behind the gift may encourage or deepen the relationship between the two friends. In Ruth Towse’s “Handbook of Economics,” she analyzes Mauss’s definition of the value as it related to gift giving: “The gift, therefore, is considered an instrument for the sustenance of venerable values…values that are not easily generated in the market place or by means of the collective sector, such as personal relationships, friendships, love…but also the sciences (truth), religion (spirituality), and the arts.”

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