Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 25 seconds

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 25 seconds

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 25 seconds

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 25 seconds

Thanks, Maha and commenters.This conversation totally strikes a chord with me as my research is giving me real cause to pause and to really think about sharing. Yes, I’m still plugging away on that particular odyssey.

Firstly, it is striking that the open community equates sharing with gift-giving and reciprocity. However, consulting the anthropological record, it appears that sharing might not in the first instance be corespondent with reciprocity, which is associated with Marcel Maus’ theory of gift-giving. Sharing, it turns out, is not adequately explained in this theory, nor is it properly accounted for by theories relating to market exchange. Sharing is after all an economic mode of transfer. It provides access to what others value, and more often than not it is prompted by a silent demand (lurkers, perhaps?), that is, bodily/embodied presence on the part of the would-be recipient and knowing what is needed on the part of the would-be provider. Sharing is a complex social phenomenon, one that is that is not currently explained adequately by either gift-giving or market exchange theories. Oh, yes, and why is it that the open community doesn’t talk about their practice in relation to producing value and to the market? It might help shed light on a pile of issues relating to labour, paid or otherwise.

Yes, the relationship between openness, sharing and value/labour definitely needs unpacking. It’s top of my list any way. Might take me a while though – how long did it take Marx and Maus? LOL.