Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Inalienable Possessions – The Paradox of Keeping-While Giving - California Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Inalienable Possessions: The Paradox of Keeping-While Giving

Annette Weiner


This book tests anthropology's traditional assumptions about kinship, economics, power, and gender in an exciting challenge to accepted theories of reciprocity and marriage exchange. Focusing on Oceania societies from Polynesia to Papua New Guinea and including Australian Aborigine groups, it investigates the category of possessions that must not be given, or, if they are circulated, must return finally to the giver. Reciprocity, the book says, is only the superficial aspect of exchange, which overlays much more politically powerful strategies of “keeping-while-giving.” The idea of keeping-whi ... More

Keywords: kinship, economics, power, gender, reciprocity, marriage exchange, Oceania societies, exchange, keeping-while-giving, cultural reproduction

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1992 Print ISBN-13: 9780520076037
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520076037.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Annette Weiner, author