Le premier numéro du MAUSS International est arrivé !


Anti-Utilitarian Interventions in Social Sciences

Digital Journal

N°1 | “Opening Gift”

Available on Cairn : https://www.cairn-int.info/journal-mauss-international-2021-1.htm

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For four decades now, the MAUSS (Mouvement anti-utilitariste en sciences sociales) has been at the heart of the debates in social sciences in France and in French-speaking countries. While this landmass of works has found resonance and relays in Latin countries such as Italy as well as across South America, it has barely percolated across the language and cultural barrier into English – and therefore international – scholarship. For those of us who do, within the MAUSS, publish in English, how often have we been obliged to disappoint interest in this perspective because of the unfortunate unavailability of core MAUSS texts ? This is the aim of the MAUSS International journal : To bring MAUSS-branded scholarship to a truly international audience and thereby partake more forcefully in the important debates in social sciences today.

Greeted early on by scholars such as Mary Douglas, Albert O. Hirschman, Marshall Sahlins, and Annette Weiner, the MAUSS was founded in 1981 by Alain Caillé and collaborators to resist the growing encroachment of neo-classical economics and other utilitarian approaches in the social sciences. It is interesting how what is often called “French theory” continues to be at the heart of social sciences and philosophy today in English language scholarship. Yet what is intriguing from a French perspective is how this felicitous reception has excluded the critiques and debates that have occurred over the last decades within French scholarship, creating what are sometimes serious problems of interpretation and application of these theories. This continued reliance on heavyweights such as Foucault, Derrida, and Bourdieu is a sign that novel theoretical insights have failed (at least to some extent) to impose themselves within English language scholarship in the last decades. It also gives the impression that French language scholarship has dried up since these heydays and that nothing of similar or significant value has emerged since. This is not true.

The globalization of academia, meanwhile, has brought a diversity of national and regional traditions in contact with each other and has promoted certain issues as common concerns. This process is accelerated by the enmeshing of social realities as a result of these same globalizing trends. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, the world today is inextricably woven into a whole, to the extent that a pangolin or a bat in a market in inland China (or some other cause) has the potential to initiate a snowball effect that can reach remote areas of Africa or South America in a matter of weeks. In other words, many of the pressing issues of the day are shared ones, and we are better off if we address them from a plurality of communicating standpoints rather than in isolation.

The MAUSS International wants to act as a crucible for such transnational communicative processes and act as a cultural and intellectual broker for anti-utilitarian perspectives on both sides of the linguistic divide in order to better address today’s important issues.


Table of Contents – Mauss international n°1


Moving Beyond : Mission Statement of the MAUSS International

Presentation of Contributions

Opening Gifts

Give it away ! The New MAUSSqueteers
   David Graeber

The Dismal Science
   Marshall Sahlins

Our Gift Paradigm
   Mary Douglas

Lineages of the Gift

Preface to the Chinese Translation of Marcel Mauss’ The Gift
   Alain Caillé

Dialogical Bridges and Anti-Utilitarian Alliances
   Ilana F. Silber

Giving Care
   Elena Pulcini

Heidegger and the Gift of Being : Denken is Danken
   Stephen Fuchs

Of  RATs, Birds and MAUSSes

Are you Ready to Extract Yourself from the Economy ?
   Bruno Latour

What’s wrong with the RAT’S ? Interest, Rationality and Culture in American Sociology”
   C. Calhoun & L. Wacquant

Anti-Utilitarian Theory From Durkheim to Parsons and Cultural Sociology
   Jeffrey Alexander

The Bird in Hand : Rational Choice – The Default Mode of Social Theorizing
   Peter Wagner

Self, Objects and Actions as Products of Reciprocity and Cooperation in Constitutive Practices
   Anne Rawls

The Gift of Laughter
   David Le Breton

Another Social Science is Possible

For another world history of sociology
   Stéphane Dufoix

The Fate of Institutions in the Social Sciences
   Christian Laval

Connecting Sociology to Moral Philosophy in the Post-Secularity Framework
   Sari Hanafi

An Unfinished Dialogue

Marcel Hénaff, philosopher and anthropologist
   Francesco Fistetti

Marcel Hénaff and the Heterogeneity of Gift Practices
   Olli Pyythinen

Public Sociology à la française

“For a Radical Moderationism and a Maussian Ethic of Discussion”
   Alain Caillé

A Literary Accomplice

“Note from the Underground”
   Fyodor Dostoïevski


The Authors

Jeffrey Alexander, Sociology, Yale University
Alain Caillé, Sociology, University of Paris Nanterre
Craig Calhoun, Sociology, Arizona State University
Mary Douglas (1921-2007), Anthropology, Princeton University
Stéphane Dufoix, Sociology, University of Paris-Nanterre
Francesco Fistetti, Philosophy, Bari University
Stephan Fuchs, Sociology, University of Virginia
David Graeber (1961-2020) Anthropology, London School of Economics
Sari Hanafi, Sociology, the American University of Beirut
Bruno Latour, Sociology, Sciences Po, Paris
Christian Laval, Sociology, University of Paris-Nanterre
David Le Breton, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Strasbourg
Olli Pyyhtinen, Sociology, University of Tampere
Elena Pulcini (1950-2021) Philosophy, University of Florence
Anne Warfield Rawls, Sociology, Bentley University.
Marshall Sahlins (1930-2021), Anthropology, Chicago University
Ilana Silber, Sociology, Bar-Ilan University
Loïc Wacquant, Sociology, University of California at Berkeley
Peter Wagner, Sociology, University of Barcelona



Anti-Utilitarian Interventions in Social Sciences

Founding Director : Alain Caillé

Director : Philippe Chanial

Editors-in-Chief : François Gauthier, Ilana F. Silber, Frédéric Vandenberghe

Editorial Advisory Board : Margaret Archer, Johann Arnason, Jeffrey Alexander, Christian Arnsperger, Luigino Bruni, Craig Calhoun, Elisabeth S. Clemens, Rebecca Colesworthy, Randall Collins, Catherine Colliot-Thélène, Raewyn Connel, Gerard Delanty, Pierpaolo Donati, François Dubet, Ezzine Abdelfattah, Nancy Fraser, Philip S. Gorski, Sari Hanafi, Michael Hudson, Eva Illouz, Zhe Ji, Hans Joas, Steve Keen, Farhad Khosrokavar, David Le Breton, Gus Massiah, Edgar Morin, Jonathan Parry, Michael Puett, Olli Pyyhtinen, Jingdong Qu, Ann W. Rawls, Richard Sennett, Don Slater, James V. Spickard, Iddo Tavory, Peter Wagner, Mingming Wang, Björn Wittrock, Viviana Zelizer

Friends of the MAUSS : Frank Adloff, Mark Anspach, Rigas Arvanitis, Geneviève Azam, Yolande Benarrosh, Gérald Berthoud, Daniel Cefaï, Genauto Carvalho de França Filho, Stéphane Dufoix, Jacques T. Godbout, Francesco Fistetti, Roberte Hamayon, Keith Hart, Marc Humbert, Ahmet Insel, Laurence Kauffman, Christian Laval, Jean-Louis Laville, Christian Lazzeri, Paulo Henrique Martins, Chantal Mouffe, Lucien Scubla, Jean-Michel Servet, François Vatin.

// Article publié le 18 novembre 2021 Pour citer cet article : , « Le premier numéro du MAUSS International est arrivé ! », Revue du MAUSS permanente, 18 novembre 2021 [en ligne].