Bourdieu on Giving

Now watch as I wildly paraphrase French Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu in The Forms of Capital to further the case for mass customization by saying a customized gift has greater economic value because of the added social capital.
“..The transformation of economic capital into social capital… with the expenditure of time, attention, care, concern to personalize a gift, has the effect of transfiguring the purely monetary import of the exchange, and the very meaning of the exchange. From a purely economic viewpoint this effort is seen as wastage but in the terms of the logic of social exchange it is a solid investment, the profits of which will appear in the long run, either monetary or other….”

OK, so Bourdieu kind of goes on to say that this social capital you have just built by giving a customized gift means that your social status is raised to the person you give that gift to, and those in your social sphere. Then, the fact that you, now with greater social capital under your belt, designed/customized the gift gives the gift greater economic value…..ish.

One Response to “Bourdieu on Giving”

  1. Ponoko Blog Says:

    […] This is not far off from Bourdieu’s theories of social capital previously discussed on the Ponoko blog. Blocher discusses the reputational economy in a similar way. “The importance of success in this reputational market can for some people be just as important as financial wealth—many people’s “lives virtually revolve around social-networking sites and blogs.” Indeed, by now it is old news that millions of people spend more time thinking about their Facebook profiles than their investment profiles.” […]

Leave a Reply