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● Man’s dignity diminished when he is not self-determinant
● Social constraint, to a point, compatible with individual personality
● Social facts with organization vs social currents- eg. great movements of enthusiasm
in a crowd, no one person originates it, we only take part and have the illusion we do
● Emotions we feel in social currents disappear once alone again, seem strange,
impressed upon us-> drawn into acts of atrocity
● Aim of education, child discipline is the ‘socialization’ of the human being, exposing them
to ‘social facts’ and constraining them, initially, to act accordingly until constraint no
longer needed (habit)
● Innate thoughts in every human consciousness are not social facts (every human feels
hunger, natural instincts, but tribes in Africa feel very different customs to Europeans)
● Instead, ‘collective aspects’ of beliefs, practices of a particular group are social facts,
transmitted by education, mouth or writing
● Increase in birth rate or suicide rate, for example, a social trend, driven by currents,
every person is different but society as a whole tends to some direction
● “Found in each part as it exists in the whole, rather than in each whole as it exists in the
parts”
● A collective crowd emotion does not express what all individuals had in common, but a
social current phenomena, special energy by virtue of being together
● Even though some basis of, say, political opinions, is in psychological/geographical, they
are social primarily
● Legal regulation no less permanent than an architectural one, moral maxims, some parts
of social life perhaps not definitively molded, however.
● Social facts are not the same as imitation of individual causes- power of expansion ‘not
the cause but the consequence of its sociological character’
● Anthropology now a science rather than simply multiple psychologies, showed that


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certain concepts can exist without individual creation or maintaining
● Collective Consciousness eg. totemism, solidarities
● Acting, thinking, feeling outside the individual, not with biological or psychological
Mauss- The Gift
● Everyone seeks something in return for what is given, even if it’s only gratification
● Friendship works like that, reciprocal, or even winning over someone you don’t trust or
like, ‘speak in spite of yourself’
● Presents given, akin to those received. The miser always fears presents. Almost better
to not give a gift at all than to give one so valuable the other’s in your high debt
● In theory, gifts are voluntary, in practice, they are obligatory to give and especially
reciprocate
● Total Services- permanent contracts between clans pooling materials, people, rituals
etc, what goes around always comes around.
● People can be a vehicle (letting relatives raise a child, for instance, would be repaid)
● Potlatch- a ‘contest’ of gift-giving where tribes try to outdo each other in displays of
wealth and altruism, often violent, destructive and hypercompetitive affairs, honor at
stake. Often goods are destroyed rather than given, ‘struggle of wealth’
● Though one might not be richer, giving and receiving gifts increases honor (eg. mana)
● Obligations: reciprocate, accept and receive. Different taboos among different cultures
● Hau, spirit of things, gift exerts a force on you, keeping it fatal for soul, must be returned,
sign of donor’s authority and power over you, as donor has ‘given a part of their soul’
● In US, re-gifting offensive, but in Hau or necklaces, it’s seen as returning respect, spirit
● Gift-giving also towards gods, sacrifices returned by ‘heavenly favors’ to people, gods
own earthly things so must be paid before, eg, tilling ‘his’ farmland, by a crab exorcism,
gods have own system of exchange


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