Type de Publication Article
    Titre When Marcel Mauss’s Essai sur le Don becomes The Gift: variations on the theme of solidarity
    Auteurs Bateman S.
    Revue Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
    Résumé Since the early 1970s, Marcel Mauss’s Essai sur le Don (1923), translated into English as The Gift in 1954, has been a standard reference in the social science and bioethical literature on the use of human body parts and substances for medical and research purposes. At that time, three social scientists—political scientist Richard Titmuss in the United Kingdom and sociologist Renée C. Fox working with historian Judith Swazey in the United States—had the idea of using this concept to highlight the fundamental structure of the biomedical practices they were studying, respectively, blood donation, and hemodialysis and organ transplantation. The fact that these first applications of Mauss’s essay should emerge in English- rather than in French-speaking countries raises the question of what the translation of the essay, and notably of the word don as gift, may have to do with this fact. Reading Mauss in translation undoubtedly inspired a seminal approach to interpreting medical and research practices based on bodily giving. This article posits that something may have also been lost: a much broader concept of giving with unquestionable links to the Durkheimian concept of solidarity, which Mauss conceptualizes not only as an obligation but also as a liberty to give.
    Mots clés Gift-exchange | Gift relationship | Solidarity | Moral sociology | Émile Durkheim | Marcel Mauss | Biomedical practices
    Année 2016
    Electronic resource num 10.1007/s11017-016-9384-6

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