Tag Archives | gift giving

Part Two: Reciprocity and Its Discontents

Patricia G. Lange, California College of the Arts

 

Mary Douglas, a key figure in the field of anthropology, once famously asserted that in small-scale societies, “the cycling gift system is the society” (Douglas 1990). She was speaking about cultural groups that depended on elaborate systems of reciprocity—or mutual exchange of things—to support relationships and societal institutions. We may well ask, just how important is reciprocity in contemporary, commercialized, digital milieus? When are cycles of reciprocity important to take part in, and when should reciprocity be strategically withheld? Whereas my previous post discussed the existence and benefits of contemporary forms of reciprocity among social YouTubers, this post focuses on specific aspects of reciprocity that YouTubers deliberately withheld in order to maintain a more positive atmosphere of sociality and creative connection.…

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Modes of Hitchhiking in Russia

 Francisco Martínez (EHI, Tallinn University)

– Palm down or thumb up: the fare depends on the gesture you do by the road.

– In Russia, even Lenin seems to hitchhike, standing with a hand in his pocket and the other pointing up towards the future.

Foto 1- Terje Toomistu haciendo auto-stop en Rusia

Fig 1. Terje, the walk between rides. Hitchhiking in Russia.

Hitchhiking is a way of travelling by charity, a sort of begging tourism. This practice of mobility is gaining popularity in Russia, paralleled to the disappearance of traditional ways of travelling cheap in the country.

There are indeed multiple modes of hitchhiking in Russia and not all of them legal. We can of course find the traditional one, idealised by the ‘Beat Generation’ and the ‘Hippies’.

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