Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Dark Side Of Gifts: Feeling Indebted May Drive People To The Marketplace

Date:
June 17, 2009
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
You need to move out of your apartment. Do you call in your friends and family to haul boxes and furniture or contact a moving company? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that sometimes the emotions connected with asking for favors can actually drive people to the market.

You need to move out of your apartment. Do you call in your friends and family to haul boxes and furniture or contact a moving company? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that sometimes the emotions connected with asking for favors can actually drive people to the market.

Related Articles


According to the study's author, Jean-Sébastien Marcoux (HEC Montréal), many researchers romanticize gift-giving. "They praise it for humanizing market relationships, for making the market meaningful, and for providing an escape from the commodifying logic of capitalist exchanges," Marcoux writes. Other researchers have examined the dark side of gift giving: the troublesome feelings that arise from social indebtedness. But Marcoux's research examines how feelings of perpetual obligation affect people's attitudes toward the market.

Marcoux conducted a ten-year (1997-2007) ethnographic study in Montréal on moving. His methods involved interviews, observations, photography, and even moving furniture. He chose to study moving because it's an act that can involve the market, the "gift economy," or both. "Moving is a social event particularly favorable to the emergence of reciprocal relations," writes Marcoux. "Moreover, many people who move use both the gift economy and the market to do so."

By studying moving, Marcoux got an in-depth look at people who were often in the midst of traumatic life events, such as divorce, job loss, separation, or death of a loved one. Marcoux found that the guilt and obligation connected with asking for help from family and friends often drove people to seek the simpler transactions of the marketplace.

"It is important to recognize that withholding requests for gifts, services, and favors from significant others can be a driving force for using the market," writes Marcoux. "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," Marcoux concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jean-Sébastien Marcoux. Escaping the Gift Economy. Journal of Consumer Research, 2009; 090603081616048 DOI: 10.1086/600485

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "The Dark Side Of Gifts: Feeling Indebted May Drive People To The Marketplace." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615171632.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2009, June 17). The Dark Side Of Gifts: Feeling Indebted May Drive People To The Marketplace. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615171632.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "The Dark Side Of Gifts: Feeling Indebted May Drive People To The Marketplace." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615171632.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

Woman Convicted of Poisoning Son

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) — A woman who blogged for years about her son&apos;s constant health woes was convicted Monday of poisoning him to death by force-feeding heavy concentrations of sodium through his stomach tube. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Often Give In To Vaccine-Wary Parents

Doctors Often Give In To Vaccine-Wary Parents

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) — A new survey published in the journal Pediatrics found many doctors are giving in to parents&apos; requests to delay vaccinating their children. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Mobile Payments In 2015

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) — This year, mobile payments might finally catch on. Here are the things you need to know to stay on top of the latest developments. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Who Survived Ebola Virus to File Lawsuit

Nurse Who Survived Ebola Virus to File Lawsuit

AP (Mar. 2, 2015) — A lawyer for Nina Pham, the 26-year old nurse who survived after contracted the Ebola virus, says the young woman&apos;s &apos;life has changed forever. &apos; Pham is preparing to file a lawsuit against Texas Health Resources for negligence. (March 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins