Why from the gift to reciprocity? Because, precisely, along the Essay on the gift, Marcel Mauss describes relations and reciprocity provisions. In order to explain the human origins of exchanging, the author uncovers fundamental principles of the organization and economic and social logics in societies of reciprocity. Both the gift and the counter-gift belong to a social and economical dialectics polarized by prestige and honor. Such polarity, alone, not only forbids the simplification of the system gift/counter-gift to an exchange, but also the explanation of the principle of the gift redoubling on the interest of the first donor. Recognition renders prestige and political authority. However, in order to give, it is necessary to produce: such production is subordinated to the donation, which generates an economy with principles anatropous to those of the exchange-based occidental economy.
Sabourin, E. (2008). Marcel Mauss: Da dádiva à questão da reciprocidade. Revista Brasileira de Ciencias Sociais, 23(66), 131–138. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0102-69092008000100008