Marcel Mauss

Marcel Mauss (märsĕl´mōs), 1872–1950, French sociologist and anthropologist. Nephew of eminant sociologist Émile Durkheim, Mauss graduated from the Univ. of Bordeaux and the École Pratique des Hautes Études, where he later served on the faculty. He also taught at the Collège de France and cofounded the Institut d'Ethnologie of the Univ. of Paris. Advocating a close relationship between anthropology and psychology, he sought to practice Durkheim's rules of sociological method by relating the collective representations of a group to its social organization. He studied the phenomena of primitive exchange as a total institution that structures social bonds and found that although giving, receiving, and repaying appear to be voluntary and disinterested, they are in fact obligatory and interested. Mauss's writings include The Gift (1925), a well-known work on the process of exchange, and a collection of essays entitled Sociology and Anthropology (1950).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Marcel Mauss: A Centenary Tribute
Wendy James; N. J. Allen.
Berghahn Books, 1998
The Radical Sociology of Durkheim and Mauss
Mike Gane.
Routledge, 1992
Four Sociological Traditions
Randall Collins.
Oxford University Press, 1994 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Marcel Mauss and the Magic of Social Exchange" begins on p. 225
Durkheim and the Jews of France
Ivan Strenski.
University of Chicago Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Sylvain Levi: Mauss's 'Second Uncle'"
Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers: From Structuralism to Postmodernity
John Lechte.
Routledge, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Marcel Mauss" begins on p. 24
Claude Levi-Strauss: Social Psychotherapy and the Collective Unconscious
Thomas Shalvey.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1979
Librarian’s tip: "The Totalizations of French Sociology: Durkheim and Mauss" begins on p. 4
Occidentalism: Images of the West
James G. Carrier.
Clarendon Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Maussian Occidentalism: Gift and Commodity Systems"
Time and Commodity Culture: Essays in Cultural Theory and Postmodernity
John Frow.
Clarendon Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Gift and Commodity"
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