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Escaping the Gift Economy

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  • Jean-Sébastien Marcoux
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    Abstract

    Researchers have analyzed the dark side of the gift, but they have remained blind to what it implies about the market. Drawing on the experiences of a group of informants who participated in an ethnographical study of house moving in Montreal, Canada, this article provides significant evidence that the unattractiveness of the gift economy can incite people to turn to the market as an escape. It examines how people use the market to free themselves from the straitjacket of social expectations-from the sense of indebtedness and emotional oppression-which constrains them in their reciprocity relations inside the gift economy. The standard views of CCT researchers concerning the valorization of the gift economy are challenged, as well as the axiology that implicitly informs their research. As a result, it is necessary to discuss the inversion of this axiology. (c) 2009 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 671-685

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:36:y:2009:i:4:p:671-685

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    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/

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    Cited by:
    1. Valérie Guillard & Céline Del Bucchia, 2012. ""How About Giving My Things Away Over The Internet? " When Internet Makes It Easier To Give Things Away," Post-Print hal-00909262, HAL.
    2. Sandrine Fremeaux & Grant Michelson, 2011. ""No Strings Attached": Welcoming the Existential Gift in Business," Post-Print hal-00797037, HAL.
    3. Nguyen, Hieu P. & Munch, James M., 2011. "Romantic gift giving as chore or pleasure: The effects of attachment orientations on gift giving perceptions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 113-118, February.
    4. Sandrine Frémeaux & Grant Michelson, 2011. "‘No Strings Attached’: Welcoming the Existential Gift in Business," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(1), pages 63-75, March.

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