Sharing is not a gift!€ 3.00
A gift is usually in contrast with the market. A present is considered to stem from reciprocity, trust and relationships, whereas market exchanges are purportedly based upon vested interests, selfishness and calculations. As this schism still poses a problem today, Adriano Favole and Matteo Aria propose a third option: sharing. A hidden practice rarely studied by anthropologists, sharing seems nevertheless innate to humanity and many aspects of contemporary life. “Working” together, “consuming” together and defying possessive individualism, competition and conflict are the main characteristics of sharing. However, we must beware of the rhetoric about sharing: as has happened with many aspects of the gift, sharing too risks being absorbed by homo economicus’ cunning, captivating paradigm that would portray it as the last frontier of capitalism.
Matteo Aria teaches Development Anthropology at the University of Florence, African History at Rome’s La Sapienza University and Economic Anthropology at the University of Turin. His research has taken him to Ghana, French Polynesia and New Caledonia for studies on processes of patrimonialisation, passeurs culturels, cultural anthropology and gift giving. His publications include Cercando nel vuoto (2007), Il dono del sangue (with F. Dei and G.L. Mancini, 2008) and La densità delle cose (with A. Pani, 2014).
Matteo Aria & i Dialoghi
Adriano Favole is deputy director for Research at the Department for Culture, Politics and Society at the University of Turin and teaches Cultural Anthropology, Culture and Power. He has lectured at the Universities of Milan, Genoa and Bologna and in New Caledonia. He has travelled and conducted research in Futuna (western Polynesia), New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Australia and in La Réunion (Indian Ocean). His main areas of study are political anthropology, anthropology of the body and anthropology of heritage. He writes regularly for the newspaper Corriere della Sera’s cultural insert, La lettura. His publications include: La palma del potere (Il Segnalibro, 2000); Isole nella corrente (La ricerca folklorica, Grafo, 2007); Resti di umanità. Vita sociale del corpo dopo la morte (2003); Oceania. Isole di creativity culturale (2010) and La bussola dell’antropologo (2015), both published by Laterza; Vie di fuga. Otto passi per uscire dalla propria cultura (UTET, Dialoghi sull’uomo, 2018).