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The Gift of Thanks: The Roots and Rituals of Gratitude

 
 
Author
Margaret Visser.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.25 x 1.5 inches
ISBN 9780151013319
Pages/Publication Date 458/2008
Daedalus Item Code 12186
This item is not available.
Description
Known as an "anthropologist of everyday life," for producing such books as The Rituals of Dinner (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year that also won the IACP Literary Food Writing Award) and The Geometry of Love (a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize), Margaret Visser here turns her eye to another custom so frequently encountered that it often escapes notice: what do we really mean when we say "thank you"? This inquiry into all aspects of gratitude ranges from the unusual determination with which parents teach their children to thank to the difference between speaking the words and feeling them, and the ways different cultures handle the complex matters of giving, receiving, and returning favors and presents. Visser illuminates the fundamental opposition in our own culture between gift-giving and commodity exchange, and the similarities between gratitude and its opposite, vengefulness. The Gift of Thanks considers cultural history, including the modern battle of social scientists to pin down the notion of thankfulness and account for it, and the newly awakened scientific interest in the biological and evolutionary roots of emotions.
 
 
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