A gift economy is one based on one-way donations rather than exchange.
There are several different notions of gift economies.
- In the free software community, theorist EricRaymond has been discussing gift economies as essentially trades for reputation or acclaim within the hacker community. This fits with other socio-futurists who think about coming economies based on trade in attention or access to social networks. (Reputation being a key to some communities.) This is often within a critique of intellectual property but a defence of traditional property. Raymond is a libertarian.
- There is an interesting debate on gift-giving that tries to uncover the hidden and yet essential economy within patriarchal systems. See GenevieveVaughan. Phil used to refer to Gen's book as being newage. Me, (HilanBensusan), find that this hurts. I dislike all that newage stuff. I don't believe anyone could be a newage feminist. Anyways, gift giving, according to Gen, is part of the way we deal with language.
- Fair enough, didn't mean to offend anyone. Appologies to all concerned. -- PhilJones.