Inalienable Possessions: The Forgotten Dimension

Annette B. Weiner

in Inalienable Possessions

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 1992 | ISBN: 9780520076037
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520911802 | DOI:
Inalienable Possessions: The Forgotten Dimension

Show Summary Details


This chapter traces the problems the author inherited in her own Trobriand fieldwork from Malinowski's projection of the norm of reciprocity as the underlying principle in all “primitive” social relations. It shows how the norm of reciprocity developed as a Western cultural construction and how its use was transformed to fit different Western and “primitive” economic situations, whereas the most ancient and powerful economic classification—inalienable and alienable possessions—was ignored.

Keywords: Trobriands; Malinowski; norm of reciprocity; primitive social relations

Chapter.  8392 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.