Giving, receiving and reciprocating : A qualitative reanalysis of articles studying disaster aid through gift exchange 

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The impact of international aid is debated in the scholarly literature. One of the theoretical frameworks used to study aid is developed in the Gift [1925] by Marcel Mauss. However, overall there is a lack of knowledge concerning the understanding of Mauss, and how it can be connected to the distribution of aid. Thus, this thesis takes its theoretical departure fromMauss’s gift exchange, and the obligation to give, receive and reciprocate to study how articles examine post-tsunami aid through the theory developed in “The Gift” by Mauss. The study is a qualitative reanalysis of three articles, which is structured by a series of analytical questions based on a broader reading of Mauss, previous research and the gift of disaster aid.The qualitative reanalysis finds that Mauss’ obligations to give, receive and reciprocate and the social bonds that these forms were discussed differently, and to a greater or lesser extent. This study brings “The Gift” by Mauss into light to the discussion of disaster aid, and thus highlighting new potential research for future studies.

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