Transfers: a deductive approach to gifts, gambles, and economy at large

Pickles, A.J. (2020) Transfers: a deductive approach to gifts, gambles, and economy at large. Current Anthropology, 61 (1). pp. 11-29. ISSN 0011-3204

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Abstract

This paper reinterprets core issues in economic anthropology by exploring transfers as a theoretical resource. After describing deliberate usage of the term “transfer” in anthropology and economics, transfers are defined as movements of economic matter, while transactions are the forms arising from their configuration. Transactional categories such as Maussian gift exchange or market exchange become second-order reifications. Examining the politics of creating and sustaining transactional categories by first looking at the elementary transfers out of which they are constructed places “one-way transfers” of wealth on the same conceptual plane as reciprocal and market transactions, instead of being a derivative or a remainder of either or both. Gifts and gambling are considered as examples. Gambling and “pure gifts” are one-way transfers engineered to possess only one component transfer, and Maussian gifts explicitly connect transfers together in a particular politics. Anthropological literature that employs an incipient version of the transfer strategy is detailed, demonstrating its nascent explanatory promise. The article concludes by suggesting renewed engagement with contemporary economics on the basis of transfers.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 May 2020 00:11
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2020 23:57
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/75107
DOI: 10.1086/706880

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