The Past is not Safe

"This overlooks the fact that both commodity exchange and gift exchange are encoded. There is no transparency about gift exchange, whether it is viewed as a sequential chain or as a strategic set of acts by particular agents; in either case gift exchange needs to be decoded as a system of obligations. The effects of the two forms of encoding are quite different, however, with respect to their con- sequences for remembering and forgetting. The mode of encoding operative in gift exchange precipitates a form of cultural remembering; the mode of encoding operative in commodity exchange generates a form of cultural forgetting." Paul Connerton "If only we had a name for the new form, which is … [Read more...]