Gifts that recalibrate relationships: marriage prestations in an Arab liberation movement

Wilson, Alice (2016) Gifts that recalibrate relationships: marriage prestations in an Arab liberation movement. Ethnos. ISSN 0014-1844

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only until 8 May 2018.

Download (235kB)

Abstract

Enduring scholarly interest in the social relations of gift exchange has, following Mauss, emphasised how gifts make relationships. Where gifts break relationships, their ethnographic distinctiveness has reinforced the wider notion that gifts are good at making relations. This article examines gifts which, without the empirical distinctiveness of gifts that break relationships, both make and break relationships. Speakers of the Hassaniya dialect of Arabic in north-west Africa give post-marital gifts from the bride’s to groom’s party; these gifts became highlighted amongst Sahrawi refugees in Algeria, on whom the article focuses. In addition to performing reciprocity, boosting the giver’s honour and making new affinal relations, these post-marital gifts also break the relationship between the bride’s family and the bride. The article argues that gifts’ potential to recalibrate relationships through both making and breaking relationships can be helpfully incorporated into wider thinking about gifts, alongside other distinctions amongst gifts and gift relations.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Gifts, marriage, refugees, Arabs, Western Sahara
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions
H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Alice Wilson
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2017 11:53
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 07:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/66346

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update