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gift relationship


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Title of study (1970) by R. M. Titmuss of blood supply in Britain and the United States. Titmuss took his title from anthropological studies of reciprocal gift‐giving, especially Marcel Mauss's The Gift (English translation 1954), and his data from a survey of UK donors. The study shows that more and purer blood was available in Britain than in the United States, although nobody was paid, nor received any other favour, for donating. Titmuss used his results to claim that humans are more altruistic than he believed economic man to be, and that the success of altruistic systems of blood donation may be related to the highly developed networks of gift and counter‐gift studied by anthropologists in Africa and Polynesia.

Subjects: Politics.


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