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Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the book by Marcel Mauss. This article needs additional citations for verification. The Gift is a short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss that is the foundation of social theories of reciprocity and gift exchange. Mauss’s original piece was entitled Essai sur le don. Mauss’s essay focuses on the way that the exchange of objects between groups builds relationships between humans. It analyzes the economic practices of various so-called archaic societies and finds that they have a common central practice centered on reciprocal exchange. In them, he finds evidence contrary to the presumptions of modern Western societies about the history and nature of exchange.