Você está na página 1de 27

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75

Exchangenetworksandfreeshops inBerlin:giftsandcommoditiesin alternativeconsumptionexperiences1


Irene Sabat Muriel
Thispaperisbasedonanethnographyofalternativeconsumptionpractices intheinnercityoftheformerEastBerlin.Non-monetaryexchangenetworks (Tauschringe)andfreeshops(Umsonstlden)havebeenexamined.InUmsonstlden,thecontemporaryideologyofthepuregift(Parry1986;Carrier1995)is atplay:objectsarefreelygivenandtotallyalienatedfromtheirowners. In turn, Tauschringe sometimes induce gift-giving practices entailing mutual obligation,asaresultoffrequentexchangeswhichbringparticipantssocially closer.TheethnographicmaterialIpresentchallengesthesuitabilityofaconceptual gift ommodity divide to examine these experiences, provided that /c differentmodalitiesofgift-givingarearticulatedwithcommoditisationtrends. Consideringthiscomplexity,Iproposeare-examinationoftheroleofthegiftin alternativeconsumptionpracticespromotedbysocialmovementsinBerlin.
kEywords:

economic anthropology, gifts ommodities, exchange networks, /c freeshops,consumption,socialeconomy,socialmovements,Berlin.

with the slogan there we go without dough, we meet and exchange ourabilitiesandourgoods.Itworkslikethis:karlhelpsElfriedewiththe shopping,Elfriedetakesoutyvonnesdogforawalkatnoon,yvonnecuts karlshair.Thecircleisclosed.wedonotonlywanttoexchange,butalso toweavenewcontacts,tochatabouteverythingpossible(Friedrichshainer Tauschringsleaflet,Berlin,2005,translatedfromGerman). Inasocietyinwhichallthingsbecomeproductsandtheirexchangeis only organized via money, in which bank accounts decide what chances someonehastolive,wewanttodeveloparadicalalternative:nomoney,no
1 Thisarticleisbasedonfieldworkcarriedoutfortheauthors MAdissertation(sabat2006)on heterodoxconsumptionpracticesinEastBerlin.Thisresearchhasbeenfundedbymeansofapredoctoralgrant(FI)fromtheCatalanGovernmentandbythespanishMinisteryofEducation(projects Bso2003-06832andsEJ2007-66633).Italsoowesmuchtothereviewerscommentsontwoprevious versionsandtodr.susanaNarotzkysorientations.

50

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


products, no sale and no exchange (umsonstladen Mittes leaflet, Berlin, 2005,originalinEnglish).

ThEsE quoTATIoNs hAvE BEEN TAkEN FroM ThE Two doCuMENTs

throughwhichanon-monetaryexchangenetwork(Tauschring)andafreeshop (Umsonstladen) announce their purposes in East Berlin. As it can be noted, both initiatives propose some kind of alternative to market circulation and consumption. But, what does their aspiration at escaping commodification forcesentail?Inwhichsensecantheybesaidtobelocatedoutsidethemarket sphere? what is the specific nature of each alternative? Can these complex economic realities be analysed unproblematically by applying the anthropologicalgiftandcommoditynotions?Toanswerthesequestions,are-examination of the role of the gift in these conscious attempts at de-commodifying consumptionpracticeswillbeproposed.
CoNCEPTuAlFrAMEwork:ThEArTICulATIoNoFGIFT-GIvING ANdCoMModITyExChANGE

Inacontroversialbook,Gregory(1982)comparedtheeconomiesofclan-based andclass-basedsocieties.Theexchangeofgiftswaspre-eminentintheformer, whereas the latter depended on the circulation of commodities. In his own interpretationofthetheoryofMauss,hewentontodefinegiftsasinalienableobjectsexchangedbetweeninterdependentpersons,andcommoditiesas alienableobjectsexchangedbetweenindependentpersons (1982:41).This divide was connected to further dichotomies: inalienability and alienability, personificationandobjectification,useandexchangevalue,dependenceand independenceoftransactors,qualityandquantity,maximisationofoutgoings andmaximisationofincomings,etc.(1982:41-55). Even if, in fact, Gregory has ethnographically described more ambiguous situations, such as the emergence of gift-giving in commodified contexts (1982:166; 1997:46, 56), many authors have criticised his dichotomicalpointofviewforleadingtoareificationoftheprimitive oderndivide. /m 2 Thus, davis (1973:153-154), Thomas (1991) and Carrier (1995), have notedtheneedtoqualifyastrongcorrespondenceofthegiftandcommodity notionsandanessentialistoppositionbetweenagiving-and-receivingother (pre-capitalist,traditional)andabuying-and-sellingus(capitalist,modern).
2 davistheoryofexchange(1973)proposesanalternativeclassificationoftransactionpaternsbased onthenormsgoverningit,whichfocusonrewards,costsandstatus.Theresultisacomplexclassificationinninecategories.Fordavis,thesecategorieshelptoexplainthediversityofeconomies,butno economyisbasedinasinglecategory.rather,theydifferinthewaytheycombineexchangenorms.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

51

Thomasapproach(1991)doesnotentailadenialofthegiftandcommodity t heoreticalnotionsaspertinentones.rather,heintendstounderstandtheir a rticulationinthecontextofcolonialhistoryandpolitics(1991:3),andalsoto d emonstratetheircoexistenceinparticulareconomiesandtheimpossibilityof speakinggenerallyofgiftorcommodityeconomiesorsocieties(1991:33). Thus,wecanfindineverysocietyobjectsthatcanonlybegivenatcertain times,objectsthatcanbesoldanywheretoanyone,andalsoobjectsthatit isimpropertosellorgiveaway3 (Thomas1991:18).similarcontingencesare notedbyGodelier(2004).Moreover,not everything that we buy and sell is a pure commodity(Carrier1995:29),andnotallthatwegiveandreceiveisapure gift (laidlaw2000:632). Classic anthropologists such as Malinowski (2001 [1922]) have been accusedofapplyingthenormofreciprocityintoouniversalisticaway(weiner 1992:2, 17, 149) and overstating the distance between the capitalist west and the so-called primitive economies (weiner 1992:154; Thomas 1991:206). however, these anthropologists did not deny that the societies theyobservedsometimesexchangedobjectsinabalancedmannerandwith immediate compensation, though it only happened in narrowly defined circumstances. Malinowski himself described barter practices (gimwali) among theTrobriandersasbeingmarginalandlackingthesocialprestigeattributedto othercirculationformssuchasthekula(Malinowski2001:339).Thus,market-likeexchangecouldbeasporadicpracticecoexistingwithgift-giving. onlyundercertainhistoricalcircumstances,withthe19th-centuryblooming ofcapitalisminEuropeandNorthAmerica,theliberalaspirationofsettingup aself-regulatingmarketsystembecamehegemonic(Polanyi2001[1944]).This madethemarketlogicprevailandgaverisetoamarketeconomy(Polanyi1994 [1977]:81).Theoriginsofthisunprecedentedspreadofthemarketrulehad alreadybeendescribedbyMarxandsimmelamongothers.4Theevaluationof itsconsequenceshasgreatlyvaried:fromthedestructionofsocialsolidarities andthewithdrawalofmoralitytotheattainmentofindividualfreedomanda betterlivingstandard(ParryandBloch1989:30;Gudeman2001:10). Nevertheless,notonlythepre-eminenceofgift-givinginpre-capitalistsocieties, but also a supposed ubiquity of the market rule in the contemporary westneedstobecarefullyconsideredandquestioned(Godelier2004:196). Many ethnographies have showed that gift-giving behaviour, together with otherkindsofnon-monetarytransactions(ParryandBloch1989),canalso
3 weinersanalysis(1992)focusesonthisthirdcategory,neglectedbyMalinowski(2001),inthe Trobriandcontext. 4 Infact,many authors had postulated analogous transitions from one to the other term of a dichotIn fact, many anyauthorshadpostulatedanalogoustransitionsfromonetotheothertermofadichotomy:fromusevaluetoexchangevalue(Aristotle,Marx),fromGemeinschafttoGesellschaft(Tnnies), fromstatustocontract(Maine),fromsubstantivetoformalrationality(weber),etc.(Polanyi1994 [1977]:122;Gudeman2001:16).

52

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


bedetectedincapitalistcontexts,andthatsuchpracticesremainakeyeveryday strategy for many people, for example in kinship frameworks (Brandon 2000).Traditionally,researchershavefocusedtheirattentionongift-givingas astrategyofmarginalisedpeoplewhoencounterbarrierstoaccessthemarket, moneyandtheformaleconomy(stack1974;lomnitz1975).Nevertheless,it ispossibletodetectgift-givingpatternsineverysocialstratumofsociety.For example, it has also been a pervasive strategy in everyday economies under socialism (Berdahl 1997) and even after the transition to capitalism (dunn 1999; Patico 2002; humphrey 2002). All this supports Polanyis denunciationofthefallacyofthemarket(1994[1977]:92-93),anover-simplification consistinginunivocallyidentifyingthewesterncontemporaryeconomywith thecapitalistmarket. In spite of the trend to equate objects to commodities in contemporary societies,Carrier(1995)underlinestheneedtoconsiderthespecificexistence ofobjectsandtheirbondstothepeoplewhoproduce,ownorconsumethem; thatistosay,theexistenceofobjectsinprivatestructures (1995:8)andthe socialelementsatplayintheeconomy(1995:193).Thespreadofindustrial capitalism has not done away with peoples need to have their objects be possessionsnorhasitabolishedtheneedtotransactpossessionsinpersonal relationships(1995:11). Carrier understands the Maussian model as a continuum between commodityandgiftrelations,thefirstbeingimpersonalandtransitory,thesecond personalandlong-lasting.Thenhegoesontoaffirmthatobjectsfittingone of the two poles are rare. however, our society favours an ideology of the giftderivedfromthesegregationofhomeandworkasparadigmaticexamples ofthesocialandeconomicspheres.Asaresultofthisdivide,anon-Maussian popular conception of the gift is constructed in the west. Gift-giving is depicted as a free choice, a way to express sincere affection and an action whichdoesnotobligetoreciprocate(Carrier1995:145). ParryandBlochsproposal(1989:23)toexplainthecoexistenceofdifferenteconomiclogicsispartiallybasedontheideaofamulticentriceconomy, aspostulatedbyBohannan(1981)orbykopytoff(1986:71).however,they intendtogobeyondtheseauthorsfocusonmoneyandtoconsidereconomic systemsasawhole.Theydefinetwotransactionorders:thatofcommerceand labour work, and that of household reproduction. Both orders are based on differentprinciples(theformeronshortterm,individualacquisitionmotives, thelatteronlong-termmoralvalues)andtheirorganicinterrelationmayentail somedegreeofconflict.Gudeman(2001:19)has affirmed the similarity of Bloch and Parrys proposal to his notion of dialectically related community andmarketrealms.5
5 wecouldalsoaddhereCarriersoppositionbetweentheculturalrealmsofhomeandwork(1995:21).

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

53

In the context of long-distance trade and circulation, Appadurai (1986) accountsforthemeaningsacquiredorlostbyacirculatingobject.Atdifferent stagesofitssociallife,anobjectsexchangeabilityisdefinedbypowerand meaning relations conforming the politics of value. Consecutively entering andexitingthemarket,objectsexperiencecommodificationandde-commodificationprocesses,andthereforeacommodityisnotonekindofthingrather thananother,butonephaseinthelifeofsomethings(1986:17). kopytoff(1986)sharesAppaduraisfocusoncirculatingobjectsandnotes theneedtounderstandtheirculturalbiographies.Commoditiescanbeuniversallyfound,astheyaredefinedbyitsexchangeabilityandonlydependon theexistenceofthenecessaryexchangetechnology.Butdecommodification is also possible whenever an object becomes priceless and acquires another kindofworth.Thisistheresultoftypicallyculturalprocessessuchassingularizationandsacralization. Following the mentioned authors, in this article, the notions of gift and commoditywillbetakenasparadigmaticcasesratherthanasempiricalrealities. It is assumed that goods and services do not have a fixed identity but theyaretheproductsofacontinuousre-signification,andthatmoreorless prominentgift-andcommodity-likeingredientssuchasmoralobligationor alienabilityneedtobeinvestigatedatagiventimeandwithintheircontext (Carrier1995:192).
EThNoGrAPhICFINdINGs

duringthefinalyearsoftheGermandemocraticrepublic(Gdr),theInnenstadt6 of Berlin was an unattractive part of the capital city, due to the bad conditionofhousingandtheproximityofthewall.Butrightafterdie Wende,7 duringtheearlynineties,districtslikeMitte,FriedrichshainorPrenzlauerBerg becameacentreofattractionforwesternyoungpeople,manyofwhomhad grownupinthealternativeandmilitantatmosphereofwestBerlin.Attheir arrival,oftenaftersquattingabuilding,theseyoungstersorganisedthemselves insocial,environmental,politicalandartisticmovements.Inashorttime,the alternative Szene,formerlyconfinedinthewesterndistrictofkreuzberg,had spreadtotheEast. Even if the scope of Berlins alternative Szene has been reduced since the nineties,duetourbanredevelopmentpoliciesentailingadecreasingavailabilityofspacesandthearrivalofbetter-offpopulation,theInnenstadtcontinues

6 Germantermfortheinnercity,whichcomprisesmainlytheEasternquartersofMitte,Friedrichshain andPrenzlauerBerg. 7 PopularexpressiontodenotethefalloftheBerlinwallin1989andtheunificationofGermany in1990.

54

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


to be the area of the city matching the experimental, artistic and alternativeimageofBerlin.Althoughacoherentdiscourseislacking,theactivityof thealternative Szeneispresentedasacriticaloppositiontohegemonicideas. Antifascism,anti-sexism,anti-capitalism,anti-imperialismandenvironmentalisminspireawidediversityofactivities,whichareinstitutionalisedasProjekte (projects). some Projekte deal with the issue of consumption by questioning the modelofmarketprovisioningandsuggestingsomealternativepossibilities. Althoughthecasesexaminedherewereoriginatedafterthefallofthewall, suchexperienceshavealreadyalongrunwithinthehistoryofsocialmovementsderivingfromsocialeconomyapproaches.Ahistoricalaccountshould gobacktothesocialistexperimentscarriedoutduringthe19thcenturyin western Europe, such as owens consumption cooperatives, where goods hadanaturalvaluebasedonhumanwork,andProudhonsbanques du peuple,whichintendedtoabolishinterestinloans(Grnert1999).InGermany, silvioGesellsFreiwirtschaftslehre(freeeconomy)triedtoenhancetheroleof moneyasameansofexchangeandpayment.Accumulationwasprevented byestablishingareductionofthevalueofmoneyifitwaskeptfromcirculation for a certain time. other ephemeral experiments took place in the 1930sinseveralAustrianandGermantownsasanattempttocopewiththe worldeconomiccrisis(Grnert1999;Pierret1999).Manyoftheseexperimentsconsistedonthecreationofalocalcurrencywhichshouldprotectits usersfrominflation.Thesepracticeswereusuallyconsideredasillegaland forbiddenbytheauthoritiesbecausetransactionsinlocalcurrenciesescaped taxation and delegitimated the national currency. Community currencies reappearedinGermanyafterthe IIworldwar.Theywerepromotedbythe authorities as an alternative to other survival strategies such as the black market(schrder2006).later,withthebloomingoftheFederalrepublic ofGermanyseconomy,communitycurrenciesdisappearedforawhile,until thenewsocialmovements,someoftheminspiredbysilvioGesellsFreigeld (free money) theory, applied it to the self-help experiences that emerged inthelate70sandearly80s.AtthesametimeintheGermandemocratic republic,althoughthegiftandtheinformaleconomyhadacquiredagreat importance (Berdahl 1997), no attempts to formalise those practices were made(schrder2006). In the early 80s emerged in Canada a new experience known as local ExchangeTradesystems(lETs).Thepurposeofitsfounder,Michaellinton, wastoempowercommunitiesindifficultsocioeconomiccircumstancessuchas highunemploymentrates,toenhanceeconomicactivityandexchangeamong local actors and to complement welfare benefits (Bowring 1998). A parallel currencywascreatedinthisaim.Moreorlessunchanged,theideahasspread to other English-speaking countries (North 2002) as well as to France (Joly

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

55

et sylvestre 2004; laacher 2004; lauraire 2004), Germany (Grnert 1999; P ierret1999;schrder2004;2006),etc. Inthissectiononethnographicfindings,thediversityofProjekteobserved in Berlin will be organised following a classification suggested by an informant.8Twoemiccategoriesbasedona prioridifferentcirculationpatternshave been selected: Projekte primarily based on balanced exchange (tauschen), and those based on gift-giving (schenken). For each category, a paradigmatic case hasbeenidentified:non-monetaryexchangenetworks(Tauschringe)andfree shops (Umsonstlden) respectively. It is our purpose to check if the gift and commodityanthropologicalnotionsareindeedunderlyingthetwoempirical realities,asitmayseematfirst. Projekte based on balanced exchange: the example of Tauschringe The first experiences considered here are those based on exchanges in kind (tauschen),involvingeithergoodsorservices.Transactionstakeplacewithout the mediation of a currency,9 entailing an immediate compensation as in barteroradelayedone.Inthecaseofdirectbarter,wherepeoplereachan agreementtosatisfysimultaneouslytheirdemands,Projekteconsistmerelyin bringingpeopleincontact,forexamplethroughanInternetdatabase.10But, whenadelayisintroduced,asitoccursinmostcases,ameansofexchange isrequired.Thesesystemsallowmulti-sidedexchanges,11whichincreasesthe likelihood of successful transactions. donors may obtain compensation not directlyfromthefirstreceiverbutindirectlyfromathirdperson,whichsetsup thecircular(Ring)functioningofthesystem. The most popular example of tauschen Projekte are Tauschringe (literally, exchangerings).ThefirstTauschringeinGermanywerecreatedatthebeginningofthe90s,andhaveproliferatedmuchsincethen.12Theywerepartially inspiredby lETsexperiences,butwithacrucialdifference:insteadofalocal
8 self-provisioningcomprisesinfactthreedifferentsectors.Thefirst,andthemostimportantfor me,isself-provisioningbygardencultivation,oragriculture[].Thesecondsectionofself-provisioningisworkingathome,todosomethingbyoneself,thedo-it-yourself story.Andthethirdsection, which is the least significant in Germany but is perhaps growing, is exchanging [tauschen], sharing [teilen],renting[leihen]andgiving[schenken].Butinthisorder, ok?self-provisioningisformegarden cultivation,self-workandthentheseotherthings(wilhelm,60yearsold,self-helpactivistandunemployed,interview20-10-2005). 9 wewillnotofferhereadetailedaccountofcommunitycurrencies(Regiogelder),astheyarebeyond thescopeofthisarticle.Itisenoughtonotethatoneofthesecurrencies,theBerliner,canbeusedin someshopsinPrenzlauerBerg.TheProjektstresseseconomicgoalssuchastheactivationofadistricts commercialfabric. 10 see,forexample,<www.tauschticket.de>. 11 ThisiswhatBowring(1998)callsserialreciprocity. 12 NowadaystherearemorethanthreehundredTauschringeonlyinGermany(www.tauschring.de). Twenty-fourofthemcanbefoundinBerlin,almostoneineverycityquarter.Thecasemostaccurately examinedduringthefieldworkinBerlinwasthatoftheFriedrichshainerTauschring.

56

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


currency, most Tauschringe compute value by means of time units,13 without regardtothequalificationrequiredtoprovideaserviceortoproduceagood. Thisisjustifiedasawayofgivingthesameopportunitiestoeveryparticipant, irrespective of their social status: just the opposite of what happens in the labourmarket. More precisely, Tauschringe are exchange networks where people provide services to each other and, less often, goods without the mediation of a currency. Participation consists on putting ones abilities at the networks d isposal,andmembersarealsoexpectedtorequestwhattheyneedorwish. Inthissense,theglobalactivityofthenetworkissomewhatsimilartoasupply anddemanddynamic. Inprinciple,quantificationisatplayintheseinitiatives.whatisgivenand whatisreceivedmustbekeptinbalanceaccordingtoanotionofvaluethat,in mostcases,issupposedtobeindependentfromtheexchangevaluethatwould prevailinthemarket.Itisso,forexample,astimeunitsarevaluedinthesame wayirrespectiveofthequalificationneeded. offersanddemandsarepublishedintheTauschringsmagazineorwebsite. Themostfrequentexchangesinvolveservicessuchasrepairs,classes,helpwith removals,careofdependentpeople,haircuts,translations,Internetsearches, transportation, etc. But there are also more imprecise offers: for example, a memberoftheFriedrichshainerTauschringofferspersonaladviceincrisisand lifesituations(in<www.tauschring-friedrichshain.de 007 0 3 eues-mit/2 /1 /0 /n glied-im-september-brigitte>). Transactionsarecomputedandrecordedinadatabase.Theproviderand thereceiverofaservicegetapositiveandanegativerecordintheirrespective personalaccounts.Membersareexpectedtokeepacertainbalancebetween theirgivingandtheirreceivingactions,sothattheirpersonalaccountsremain not too far from zero. In some Tauschringe, inferior and superior limits are set in order to prevent deviant behaviours. All these requirements concerning the equal value of the transacted goods and services generate a certain amountofbureaucracywhichmayeventuallygivewaytothecreationofjobs to be remunerated in the Tauschrings own units. usually, a core of activists getsinvolvedincoordinationtasks,whilemereusersparticipateonlythrough their individual acts of exchange. Activists, however, sometimes complain aboutpeopleslackofparticipationandengagement,whichtheyattributeto an I-want-something-for-freementality(ute,activistintheFriedrichshainer Tauschring,19-10-2005) andtoattitudesacquiredthroughtheexperiencein themarket,suchasthefearofdebts,thecalculationofindividualbenefit,the comparisonwithmarketpricesorthetendencytoeconomise.
13 TheyoftenspeakaboutLebenszeit(lifetime)units,andoftennamethemaftersomepeculiarity oftheneighbourhoodinvolved.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

57

Inadditiontotheexchangeofservices,someTauschringeorganisemarkets wheresecond-handandself-madeobjectsalsocirculate.Theseareoccasions inwhichmemberscanmeetandsharetheirleisuretimeinafestivemanner.14 Thecollaborationinorganisingsucheventsmayalsoberemuneratedinthe Tauschringsunits. AmongdifferentTauschringe,differencescanbenoticedregardingthestress on economic or on social targets and the definition of exchange units and valueequivalences.Thison-goingdiscussion,pointedoutbyPierret(1999),15 becameevidentaswellduringthefederalmeetingofGermanTauschringein october 2005 in Berlin.16 But, in any case, all of them intend to a certain extenttopromoteeconomictransactionsbasedonthemutualrecognitionand helpbetweenneighbours.Thisshouldresultinamorespontaneouscirculation ofresourcesandinathickeningofcommunitylife,asanactiviststated:The socialaspectisstrengthenedinTauschringebymeansofcommunityaction. The contact is very important, you meet people with different ages, in the neighbourhood,inthekiez,veryconcretely,oldandyoungpeople,sickand healthy(ute,activistintheFriedrichshainerTauschring,19-10-2005). whentheyenterthering,relationsamongparticipantshaveacontractual form,aspeoplearetheoreticallyonanequalbasisandfreelyagreetoexchange (supiot2000).however,itisusuallyintendedtocreatesocialbondsandreciprocityinaspecificlocalcontextwheretheadversesocioeconomicconditions mayhaveerodedthecommunity.Tauschringeaimatintegratingdisadvantaged groupsincontextswhereasocioeconomicpolarisationistakingplace:
whatdoesaTauschringprovide? Neighbourhoodhelp:Theexchangebetweenpeopleintheneighbourhoodprovidescontactamongneighbours. Economicself-help:BymeansoftheTauschring,youcangetgoodsand servicesthatyoucannotafford,orthataredifficulttoget,asforexample babysittingorhelpwithcertaintasks. Creativity:Peoplecanjointhecommunityinanactivemanner,where theycanapplytheirabilitiesandwhattheyenjoydoinginausefulandconsciousway,withoutthepressureofthelabourmarket(TauschringeBerlins leaflet,january2005;seealso<http: rb.tauschring-mitte.de>). / /t

14 ItisalsoanopportunitytoannouncetheProjekttopotentialnewmembers,asithappensinthe monthlyTauschrausch(exchangefever)organisedbythekreuzbergerTauschring(strassenkreuzer98, april2004;Info-packkreuzbergerTauschring,in<www.tauschring-kreuzberg.de>). 15 wecanseetwotrendsamongexchangeringsnowadays[]:thosewithamoreeconomicdiscourse, whopresentthemselvesasrepresentativesofthefreeeconomymovement(Freiwirtschaft)basedon Gesellstheories,andtheotherswhocommitthemselvestothesocialfunctionsofTauschringeand declaretobeinspiredbyCanadianexperiences(Pierret1999:6,translatedfromFrench). 16 seeStrassenkreuzer,114,november2005:4.

58

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


unemployedpeople,forinstance,aresupposedtobegivenanopportunity to become more independent from the formal economic sector, where their disadvantageismostlikelytobeperpetuated,astheygotengagedinmutual help networks based on neighbourhood relations. This would be an opportunity for them to take advantage of resources and abilities that tend to be turneddownbyproductandlabourmarkets. oneofthebasicassumptionsunderlyingthisconceptionofTauschringeis thatsociallyconnectedpeoplehavebetterchancesforsurvivalandforwellbeing. The similarity between this idea and that of social capital (Bourdieu 1980), even if the notion is not explicit in activists and participants discourses,isconsiderable.Tauschringe,understoodasaself-helpmodalityanda meansofcivicengagement, areconceivedto promotesocialparticipation.This shouldallowpeopletoenlargetheirsocialnetworks,toaccessresources,both material and immaterial, and to satisfy in this way their needs and wishes. oncetheyareengagedwiththeProjekt,theeffectivetransfersshouldmodify andreinforcetheunderlyingsocialrelations,asintheMaussiantheoryofthe gift(Mauss1979[1923-24]).Thiseconomicbehaviourissociallyembedded (Polanyi 1994 [1977]; 2001 [1944]), and entails values other than profitseekingandindividualcompetition.Thisiswellillustratedbythisexchange situation:
AssoonasIgottoG.shome,Icouldseethefirstdecoratedcandlesand homemadedoilies.G.invitedmetogoinandtohaveasit.sheisverycommunicativeandaskedmeimmediatelywhatIdoandhowIintendtodoit. onceshehasstartedtotalk,G.wontstopanymore.sheexplainedmethe differenttechniquesandalwaysshowedmeanexample[]. G. loves to explain things and to give assistance so that you can do it better. she crochets and knits trendy scarves and socks. she had already madesomescarvesforTauschringmembers.shemakesjewelleryaswell, forexamplenecklaces.shehasallkindsofmaterials.shealsoadvisesabout wheretobuygoodwoolandhasmanymagazineswithknittingpatterns. AsIsaidgoodbyetoher,Ihadmanyideasinmindaboutwhatbeautiful thingsIcando.AsChristmasapproaches,myvisittoG.hassuggestedme todosomehandicraftsagainortoapplythenapkintechniquewithG.said (Friedrichshainer Tauschrings website, <www.tauschring-friedrichshain. de 007 1 3 erdas-kreativstubchen>). /2 /1 /2 /g

Indeed,thisvisittoG.impliedmuchmorethananimpersonaltransaction, asitsetupthefoundationsforfurtherencountersandinvolvedaconsiderable affectiveload.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

59

despitetheTauschringssocialaims,participantsdonotnecessarilybelong to the most disadvantaged social sectors.17 This can be due to the fact that membersconceivetheirparticipationasastrategytodeveloptheirsocialnetwork rather than as a way to access essential resources for survival. At the sametime,theyviewitasanopportunitytoenjoysomelittleluxuriesthat theycouldnotaffordorwouldnotbewillingtospendmoneyoninthe conventionalmarket.Averycommittedparticipantexpressedherselfinthis way:TherearesomanythingsthatyoucangetintheTauschring,likemassages andsoon,thatyoudonotstrictlyneed,buttheyjustmakelifemorebeautiful (ute,activistintheFriedrichshainerTauschring,19-10-2005). Inthisregard,anactivistdistinguishedtheTauschringmovementinGermany fromthatofthebartermarketsthatemergedduringtheArgentineaneconomiccrisis:
The reason why people exchange is that they get to meet new people, they do something meaningful, they learn about it These are not the needypeople.NotlikeinArgentina,wherepeoplecouldonlysurvivewitha bartermarket.Itwasanemergencysituationoverthere,butherehastodo withsocialcommunication(wilhelm,self-helpactivist,20-10-2005).

Insteadofsubsistencestrategies,socialparticipation,ameaningfuluseof sparetimeandtheidentificationwiththelocalcommunityseemtobeherethe mainissues.AsPierretputsit:


what is sought after by joining a Tauschring is contact above all, the reconstructionofasocialbond,theintegrationinasocialnetwork,whichis usuallymoredefectiveinthecitythaninthecountry(1999:5,translated fromFrench).

Buttheeffectsofactualinequalitiesshouldnotbeneglected.Goingbackto Bourdieusnotionofsocialcapital(1980),theequatingpotentialofTauschringe couldbeconstrainedbypeoplesdifferentialabilitytoeffectivelymobilizeand accessresources,associalcapitalisstronglydependentonotherkindsofcapital,suchastheeconomicone. Projekte based on gift-giving: the example of Umsonstlden Gift-giving (schenken) Projekte are inspired by radical attitudes against capitalism and the market. Balance in exchange is not aimed at: there are only

17 ourintuitioninthisregard,basedonfieldworkobservations,isconfirmedbyGeromettasquantitativedatafortheFriedrichshainerTauschring,whereparticipantsincomedidnotdifferfromthe districtsaverage(1999:54-55).

60

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


peoplewhogiveorwhoreceive,orwhodoboth,but,inanycase,givingdoes notentailarepaymentexpectation,andreceivingdoesnotgenerateadebt. suchProjektealsoexistintheInternet,18butwewillfocushereintheso-called Umsonstlden(freeshops).Theshopssimplyconsistonabuiltspacewhere userscanleaveobjectsthattheydonotneedorwantanymore,andtheycan likewisetakeawaywhathasbeenleftbyothers.19 In accordance to all this, the Umsonstladen located in the Eastern district ofMitte,wheretheethnographicquesttookplace,isaself-managed,20anticapitalistandecologistProjektthatintendstosubverttheprincipleofmarket exchange.Itremainsdeliberatelyindependentfromanysourceofpublicfundingandreliesonlyondonations.21Theactiviststooktheideafromanalready existing shop in hamburg, organised by the Arbeitskreise Lokale konomie (workinggroupsonlocaleconomy)since1998.Buttherewasatleastanother antecedentinwestBerlinsalternativesceneduringthe80s:aGratisverein (freeofchargeassociation)promotedbysquattersinCharlottenburg.About thirtyUmsonstldenexistnowadaysalloverGermany.22 Theanti-capitalistideologicalbackgroundoftheUmsonstladenisverysalient intheactivistsdiscourses:
Thefreeshopoffersastartingpointtodeprivetherulinglogicofthe seeminglyfairconditionsofexchangeandpossessionofitspower.Inthis societyinwhichtheunfairnessandexploitationistransfiguredtoanatural state,practicalsolidarityandself-organizationcanbethebeginningonthe way to liberation. liberation from the forces of a money economy. liberationfromtheforcesoflabour.liberationfromtheviolentconditionsof consumerism(longlivethefree-shop,leaflet,Berlin,nodate,originalin English).

Thus,itisintendedtocreateaspherewhereanyonecansatisfyitsneeds onanequalbasisandwherenohierarchybasedonincome,employmentor statusisgenerated. In addition, environmentalist aims are at play. The re-use of resources is encouragedasawayofreducingwasteandofcounteractingover-production

18 see,forexample,<www.alles-und-umsonst.de>. 19 Freeboxesareanothertypeofschenkenexperiences.Theyconsistonshelvesplacedinsomemeetingpointsofthealternative Szenewhereeveryonecanleaveortakeobjectsfrom. 20 self-managementisawayofremainingindependentfromthestateandthemarket,inacontext wheresocialinitiatives,manyofthemrelatedtothesquattingscenefromthe80sandthe90s,have beencooptedbythelocalstateandtransformedintolegalorganisationssuchascooperatives(sabat 2008). 21 Theonlysourceoffundingisatinwhereusersmayleaveadonation. 22 see < see<www.umsonstladen.de>foralist. for a list.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

61

andover-consumption,whichareconsideredtobethekeyaspectsofthecapitalistsystem. Today,everypersoninGermanystillproduceshalfatonofhouseholdtrash peryear.Thisincludesnotonlythepackagingmaterialbutmoreandmorealso commoditiesandpiecesofequipment.Fromtoasterstovacuumcleaners,from oldcomputerstoclothesfromthelastseason,moreandmoreusefulthingsare endingupinthetrashcanaproductofouraffluentsociety. Contrary to what happens in charity and welfare institutions, in the UmsonstladenthereisnotargetgrouptowhomtheProjektisaddressed.This isexplicitlyarguedasaconditiontoavoidstigmatisationandexclusion,and to dignify the act of receiving something for free without being labelled as bedrftig(needy):
TheProjekthereisinfactopentoeveryone,andnooneneedstoprove thatheorsheisaneedyperson.Therearepeoplewhocomeinandask: mustIprovethatIamarecipientofsocialbenefitsorsomethinglikethat? Theyareusedtothestate,theyhavetodoitoverthere.hereeverythingis open(Inge,Umsonstladenactivist,7-10-2005).

The infrastructure of the shop is minimal: a squatted ground floor furnishedwithshelves.Adiversityofgoodscanbefoundthere:clothes,books, records, toys, shoes, household items, small pieces of furniture, accessories forbabies,smallappliances,etc.Inaddition,servicesandbulkyobjects(not allowed in the shop) are offered and demanded on a notice board. A small groupofcollaboratorstaketurnskeepingtheshopandinformingusersabout afewutilisationrules.Themostprominentoftheserulesistheso-calledDreiTeile-Regel(three-piecerule),whichallowsamaximumofthreeobjectstobe takenaway.Thegivingbehaviourisalsoregulated:onlyobjectsingoodconditionareacceptedintheshop.23 someoftheactiviststakeonveryseriouslythetaskofexplainingtovisitors theideologicalfoundationsoftheProjektandofinvitingthemtothinkabout theirtrueneedsandabouttheirrelationshipwiththingsandmoneybefore takingsomethingaway.Thisstimulusforreflectionisstressedbyactivistsas beingthemaindifferencebetweentheUmsonstladenandaconventionalshop:
soformeitwasalwayssomethingsymbolic,somethinglikeashockfor people who wonder, hey, how does it work here?. To make them reflect aboutneeds,thatwasimportantforme,thatthepeoplewonderwhatthey

23 Athirdkindoflimitationshastodowiththecontentofthematerialstheyreceive:weonlydiscardbooksthatshouldntbepropagatedfurther,thatistosay,nazipropagandaorpornography(Inge, Umsonstladenactivist,7-10-2005).

62

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


needandwhattheydontneed.Theymakethemselvesthequestionwhen theybringsomething,whatdoIneed,whatdoInotneedanymore.And theyshouldmakethesequestionsintheshopaswell,whentheyhaveto decidebetween specificobjects,andbetweenspecificneeds.Andtheydo nothaveabstractpricesstandingbeforethething,thatstosay,theycannot compareabstractpricesasitalwayshappensinthiseconomy:everythingis valuedinabstractmoney.Buthere,whatdecidesisthespecificthingand thespecificneed.Ialwayswantedtointroducethisreflectioninpeople aboutneeds(Inge,Umsonstladenactivist,7-10-2005).

however,activistsoftenmissarealtransformationintheattitudeofmany usersinthisregard:
Capitalismisnotcompletelyabandoned.Notonlybecausepeoplemeet uswiththeirlooktotallyfixatedonthething,justaswecanseeinastore. No. They value things of course depending in their monetary value and most of them do not think about the purposes of the promoters of this unusualProjekt.Ideally,theydonotleavethecapitalistsectoruntilthey strikeupadiscussionwithusaboutthesenseandtheintentionofthefree shop(herrmann2005).24

despite the theoretical non-existence of a target group of users, a closer lookrevealssomeinterestingfeatures.First,theretendstobepeoplewhoonly give,peoplewhoonlytakeaway,andpeoplewhoalternatethesetwopractices. Foractivists,onlythisthirdgroupisfullyidentifiedwiththegoalsoftheProjekt,whiletheothertwowouldbemakingapartialanddistorteduseofthe Umsonstladen,eithertogetridofjunkastheywoulddoinarecyclingplant ortoeconomisebyobtainingsomethingforfreeasfromacharityinstitutionorfromwelfarebenefits.Thisresults,forexample,inaverytypicalcase ofdeviantbehaviour,inacontextwheresecond-handshopsandfleamarkets are extremely popular and are central to many peoples free time activities (sabat2006):Inthegreatgroupoftheonlyrecipientsarepeoplewholike searching for bargains. They would probably do the same in a second-hand market(Inge,Umsonstladenactivist,7-10-2005). In addition, even if it is explicitly forbidden, there are also people selling in the second-hand market who provide themselves with commodities fromtheUmsonstladen.suchbehaviourisdenouncedintheProjektswritten materials,butinpracticenotmuchcanbedoneagainstitunlesslimitations to access the shop are set up, which would contradict the openness of the Umsonstladen:
24 The author is an activist in the TheauthorisanactivistintheUmsonstladen Mitte.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

63

wehaveexperiencedthestrengthofthedominantvaluesystemandhow competitivethinkingisembeddedinmanypeople(ofteninusaswell).Alot ofpeopleunderstandthewordforfreefromabargain-mentality,thatisto say:toliveevencheaperattheexpenseofothers[].Thiswayofthinking hasnothingtodowithaself-determinedlifeandtheideaofaneconomy basedonsolidarity(NetzwerkGratiskonomie2005).25

AnotherfundamentalfeatureoftheProjektistheanonymityofmostparticipantsandthelackofcontactamongthem,andbetweenmostusersandthe shopkeepers.26Thedonorandtherecipientofanobjecthardlyevermeet,27 andthusitcannotbesaidthatgoodscirculateonpre-existingsocialrelations, thatobjectscirculatingproducesocialrelations,orthatdonorsandrecipients belongtoasamesocialgroup.Thisunderminesthepossibilityofacooperative wayofthinking:


Peoplewhobringthingsdontalwaysthinkaboutthepeopleforwhom these things are. you can see that when the thing is broken []. Those are people who only think about themselves and about their relation to thatthingtheycantthrowaway.Theyconstructanalibi:perhapssomeone could still use it. But they dont think about a specific person who could really use it. If they thought about that, they would realize immediately, that this person doesnt exist. At least in our society, an affluent society, itsveryunlikely,thatsomeonetakesat-shirtwithoutasleeve,forexample (Inge,Umsonstladenactivist,7-10-2005).

Thecreationofsocialbondsandthereinforcementofsociabilityarenot central purposes of the Projekt, although some activities such as discussions andworkshopshavebeenorganisedinthisaim.TheUmsonstladensmaingoal israthertoputatthepublicsdisposalaspacewheretheycanfindwhatthey needandleavewhattheydonotneedanymore.Andthen,theframeworkof theProjektandtheinterventionofactivistsinthisgiving-and-takingdynamic shouldprovidetheseactionswithapoliticalmeaningbyquestioningpeoples

25 Netzwerk Gratiskonomie is a network of several NetzwerkGratiskonomieisanetworkofseveralschenkenProjekte. 26 Itisalsointerestingtopointoutthatthemostfrequentusersoftheshoparetheactiviststhemselves,whoconformindeedagroupinitself.Theyhaveaprivilegedaccesstonewlyarrivedobjects suitingtheirneedsorthoseoftheirfriends.ThesegoodsareputasidebeforetheyevenreachtheshelvesoftheUmsonstladen. however,thisbehaviourisrestrictedtoavoidapotentialabuse. 27 An exception to this could be observed during the ethnographic fieldwork: two girls who were abouttoentertheshopwithatrolleycontainingseveralobjectswereaskedbyamansittingonthe pavementiftheywouldgivethemtheguitartheywerecarrying.Theyagreed,andashortconversation tookplacebeforethemanleftwiththeguitarandthethegirlstooktherestoftheobjectsintothe Umsonstladen.

64

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


relationshiptothings,inthehopethatsuchquestioningwillunderminetheir capitalistwayofthinkingaboutneedsandvalue.
dIsCussIoN:BEyoNdThEClAssICAldIChoToMy

within the general panorama of the organised alternatives to market consumption,TauschringeandUmsonstldenrepresentdifferentaspirations.while the former retain the logic of balance in exchange and promote a notion of value based on time, the latter aim at creating a radically new kind of economicrelationswherethesearchforindividualbenefitandthecalculationof equivalencesshouldnolongerbeatplay:onlypeoplesneedsshouldcount. TheoperationofTauschringeismoreintelligiblefornon-politicisedparticipants,whocaneasilyagreewiththevalueaccordedtotime,workandeffort. Butbecomingamemberdemandsfromthemacertaindegreeofengagement astheyneedtobecomeformalmembers.Incontrasttothis,themoreradical nature of Umsonstlden generates scepticism,28 but these shops can also be usedinapragmatic,sporadicwayasusersdonotneedtoprovetheirpolitical identificationwiththeactivistsinitialconception. Atfirstglance,itmayseemthatTauschringeandUmsonstldenpromotetwo distinct circulation patterns: that of exchanging and that of giving away. Animmediatereactionwouldbetomatchthemtothemodelsofmarket-like balancedexchangeandofgift-givingrespectively.Indeed,roughlyconsidered, non-monetary exchanges occurring in Tauschringe, where a restoration of b alanceandameansofexchangeareatplay,seemmuchclosertothelogic ofmarketmechanismsthandisinterestedgift-givingpracticestakingplacein Umsonstlden,wherethecalculationofvalueandtheobligationtorepayare leftaside. Nevertheless,Carrier(1995:18)warnsagainstthesearchforpureexamples eitherofgiftsorcommoditiesintheempiricalreality.Forhim,itismoreappropriatetotakethesenotionsasanalyticaltoolsorasthepolesinacontinuum (1995:190).Indeed,noneofthetwoProjekteconsideredherefitcompletely what anthropologists have defined as gift-giving and commodity exchange. FollowingGregorysconceptionofthegift,forexample,neitherinTauschringe norinUmsonstldendoweusuallyfindrelationsbetweennon-aliensbymeans of inalienable things (1997:52). And what he understands by commodity relations, relations between aliens by means of alienable things, does not totallyapplytoourcaseseither.Asaresult,themixedfeaturesoftheProjektes distinctcirculationpatternsrequirefurtheranalysis.

28 Manypeople,athearingthetermfreeshop,automaticallydenythatthisideacanwork,asthey infer that such a shop would be immediately looted. The social representation of sahlins negative reciprocity(1983[1974])seemstobepresenthere.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

65

Commodities after gifts? Fromahistoricalviewpoint,thegiftandthecommodityformhavebeenmore or less prevalent in different moments. As described above, the commodity formprevailedwiththetriumphoftheformalmeaningoftheeconomyoverthe substantiveoneinthe19thcentury(Polanyi2001[1944]).Inthissense,both Tauschringe andUmsonstlden entailattemptsatcounteractingthemarketrule inacapitalistcity,wherethecommoditylogichasbecomelargelyhegemonic. underthishegemony,theaccessibilityofgoodsandservicesisdeterminedby asupply-demand-pricedynamicthatexcludesthemostunprivilegedfromthe accesstoresources.Inresponse,theProjekteintendtoprovidealternativesfor thesatisfactionofneedsand,bymeansofverydifferentstrategies,trytorelate again economic transactions to material, socially situated needs. This can be understoodasanefforttore-embedtheeconomyinthesocialfabric,asPolanyi saiditwasthecaseforsocietiesthatlackedanautonomousrealmforeconomic institutions (Polanyi 1994 [1977]:89). An evolutionary discourse is evoked here,andthisisparticularlysalientwhentheProjektearepresentedasresistance strategiesinfrontofateleologicalspreadofthemarket.Thiskindofdiscourse isstronglypresentinTauschringe andUmsonstlden,asitisinmanyotherinitiativesinspired by the social economy. Apart from the authors best known for theircommitmenttosocialistutopiasandexperiments,likeowenorProudhon, alsoMaussfinalsectionsofThe Giftentailapoliticalagendainthissense:
Thuswecanandmustreturntoarchaicsocietyandtoelementsinit. weshallfindinthisreasonsforlifeandactionthatarestillprevalentincertainsocietiesandnumeroussocialclasses:thejoyofpublicgiving;thepleasureingenerousexpenditureonthearts,inhospitality,andintheprivate andpublicfestival(1979[1923-24],Englishtranslation2002:88-89).

But,despitethegeneralagreementabouttheimportanceofsituatingeconomic practices in their historical context (Thomas 1991:9), and assuming thatthescopeofmarketrulehasgrownmuchinthelasttwocenturies(Carrier 1995),giftsandcommoditiescannotbemerelymatchedtosubsequenthistoricalphases,fortheyarenotmutuallyexcludingatanygivenmoment(Carrier 1995:18).Instead,theyaredeeplyinterwovenincontemporaryconsumption experiences, be it in post-colonial contexts (Thomas 1991) or in the west (Carrier1995:38). From a diachronic viewpoint, the same objects may be successively commodifiedandde-commodifiedbyenteringandexitingthemarket(Appadurai 1986). Thus, an object laying on the Umsonstladens shelves may have been a commodity in the past, as the former owner purchased it and, consequently,appropriateditashisorhersingularpossession,atleastforawhile. A fterwards,ifsomeonetakesthisobjectawayandsellsitinafleamarket,it

66

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


will enter another exchange sphere where its singularity will be threatened byitsexchangeability(kopytoff1986).similarly,theskillsofaretiredoran unemployed Tauschring member could be a part of his or her former professionalqualification.Assuch,theseskillsusedtobeputupforsaleascommoditiesintherealmoflabourwork.Now,asthispersondecidestoofferthemina non-monetarybasis,acertaindegreeofde-commodificationtakesplace.This isespeciallysowheneverpeopleprioritizesocialcontactoverpragmaticselfinterestinexchanges,orwhenparticipantsdecidenottorecordtransactions anymoreasaresultofthepersonalisationoftheirrelationship.Inthisway,the bondslinkingpeopletoobjectsloosecentralityincomparisonwiththebonds betweenpeople(Gregory1982:41).Thus,theshort-termoutcomesofspecific exchangeswillnotbesoimportantforactorsasthelong-termconsequencesof theirmutualdependenceandsupport(ParryandBloch1989:23). Asboundariesaresoambiguous,itmayalsohappenthat,atagivenmoment and place, goods simultaneously contain gift and commodity traits, due to theirinscriptioninpersonalrelations(Carrier1995:10).Thishybridnature isespeciallysalientwhencirculationtakesplaceoutsidethemarketsphere,or inamarginalisedpositionwithinit,evenifcirculationtakesamonetaryform29 orifthereturnofanequivalentvalueissomehowexpected. drawingontheideaofamulticentriceconomywithseparatedbutinterrelatedspheres,asproposedbyParryandBloch(1989),Carrier(1995)and Gudeman(2001),TauschringeandUmsonstldenintendtoactinthehome om/c munity realm, where long-term transactions aiming at social reproduction takeplace.Indeed,itistheProjektespurposetogrowapartfromlabourwork and from a market sphere where competition, profit and accumulation are themainmotives.Accordingly,objectsandservicesarenotstandardised,and valueisnotrelatedtopricesfixedthroughsupplyanddemandmechanisms. Their exchangeability is limited by taking into account their use value over theirexchangevalue,andsothesingularityofeachgoodorserviceisstressed. organizersofbothTauschringeandUmsonstldendeclaretheirintentiontopromotearealmwherepeoplecanfulfiltheirneedswithoutbeingimpelledtouse money.Theindividualsearchforprofitandmaximisationshouldplayherea minimumroleandbereplacedbyamoralitybasedonsolidarityandmutual recognition,similartothatofgeneralisedreciprocity(sahlins1983[1974]). Therefore,activistsstressthedifferencebetweenalternativeProjekteandthe second-hand market. Especially in the Tauschring example, the participants socialinvolvementwitheachotherisacentralgoaloftheorganisers.

29 herrmann(1997)andCreweandGregson(1998)havealsoshowedthatgift-likeanomaliescan appear even in monetary contexts like car boot sales. Indeed, following Parry and Bloch (1989:8), moneyisnotthemainelementforthedefinitionofthecapitalistmarket,becauseitalsoexistedin precapitalistsocieties,andbecausethemoraleconomy isnotautomaticallydestroyedbyit.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

67

Asaresult,andalsoduetotheabsenceofacurrency,goodsandservices transferredinTauschringeandUmsonstldenmayseemcompletelyde-commodified.Butacloserexaminationrevealstheinaccuracyofthisstatement. Gift and commodity ingredients AnimportantdifferencehasbeenpointedoutbetweenthetwoProjekteregardingtheirintentiontogeneratesocialbonds.InTauschringe,wheretheprocessof becomingamemberisstronglyinstitutionalised,anartificialcommunitywith clearboundariesisdelimited.Atfirstsight,paradoxically,thewell-definedrules concerningbook-keepingmakeself-interestedbehaviourspossibleaspeople,in renderingaservice,maybeonlymotivatedbythepossibilityofaccessingfurtherresourcesinturn.Inthiscontext,bargainingmaytakeplace,and,forexample,themarketpriceofthematerialsinvolvedinaservicemaybetakeninto accounttonegotiatevalue.Inthissense,givingsomethingtoanotherTauschring memberwouldnotbedifferentfromworkinginordertobuysomethingwith theresultingearnings,asonewoulddointhemarketrealm(Gudeman2001). Nevertheless, it is reported that, for frequent participants, transactions become more disinterested as they get to know each other and establish f riendship-likerelationships.Motivationsbecomelesscentredonthetransacted objectandarereorientedtowardsthesocialencounterwiththeother.Ideally, thiswouldgiverisetothefoundationofacommunityofmutuallydependent individuals.Theobligationsandresponsibilitiesrulingtheirbehaviourwould precede self-interest and would aim at maintaining the community itself. InGudemanswords,relationshipsamongTauschringmemberswouldexistfor its own sake (2001:10) and would be locally and specifically constituted, incontrastwiththeimpersonalityofthemarketrealm.Thismeansthat,in away,themostsuccessfulimplementationofaTauschringwouldoccurwhen theformallogicofbalancedexchangeisreplacedbysociallydefinedvalues. Indeed, this is the case for some very committed members, like the woman whowasinchargeoftheFriedrichshainerTauschringscoordinationforsome years.shedecidedtotakeonthistaskonavoluntarybasis,asshefeltsomehowresponsiblefortheProjektafteritsfounder,aclosefriendofhers,died.For severalyears,shedidnotregularlyaddtoherpersonalaccountallthetimeshe investedincoordination,buyonlyasmallpartofit. Thus,itistruethatthemostactiveparticipantseventuallygetinvolvedin disinterestedmutualhelppracticeswitheachother.Aspeopleremaininthe networkaftereveryspecifictransaction,relationstendtobereinforcedafter everyencounterandacquirealong-termmeaningwhichlinksthemtosocial reproduction (Parry and Bloch 1989:23). The supposedly contractual, free decisions taken by people in their first transactions may turn into commitmentwithotherparticipantsastheybecomesociallycloser.GoingbacktoG.s case,shemaygetinvolvedintheotherpersonspreparationsforChristmasnot

68

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


onlybycommittingherselftohelpmakinghandicrafts,butalsobysharingthe excitementofthewholeprocess.ThenotionofLebenszeit(lifetime)asameasureofvalueachieveshereitsfullsense,asitconnotes,atleastinasymbolicalway,adenialofthetransactionscommoditisedaspects.Peoplerendering aservicearesupposedtobegivingawayauniquepartofthemselvesasthey accepttosharearesponsibilitywiththeotherparticipant. Nevertheless,thisconstructionofsocialbondstendstoberestrictedtooneto-onerelations,whileapersonsbindingtothewholegroupofmembersmay remainaslooseandimpersonalasitwasinthebeginning,evenifpartiesand bartermarketsareorganisedtointensifycommunityfeelingsamongparticipants.Therefore,thereisnoconstructionofcommunityinGudemanssense, butmerelyofpersonalbonds. Maximisingattitudescanalsobedetectedinmemberswhoseonlymotivationtoparticipateistheopportunitytogetservicescheaperthaninthemarket. EvenifsuchparticipantsdonotsharethespiritoftheProjekt,itdoesnotmean thattheirbehaviourinfringestheTauschringnorms,forthereisalsoscopefor self-interestedtransactionswithinthem.onlyiftheyfailtorespectthenorms aretheywarned,forexamplewhensomeoneholdsaverynegativeaccountasa resultofapredatorybehaviour.solidarityisclearlynotatplayinsuchacase. Incontrast,asmembershipisnotrequiredinUmsonstldenandparticipants donotknoweachother,everygivingortakingactionisindividuallydecided, and independent from previous and future actions. Thus, transactions are not intended for the social reproduction of a potential community of users (Gudeman 2001). They just result from individual decisions motivated, in thecaseofmilitantparticipants,bysharedideologies,and,formanyothers, byutilitarianreasonssuchastheneedtomakeroomathomeortoobtaina usefulorattractiveobject.Aspeopletakingawayoneoftheseobjectswillnot getindebtedandnothingwillforcethemtoreciprocate,individualautonomy seemstobepreservedindefinitely.Motivationsmaybediverse,matchingor not the Projekts spirit, but they are not supposed to be determined by the socialrelationsinwhichparticipantsareinscribed.30 Although it is apparent that Umsonstladen transactions cannot be said to occurinthemarketrealmeither,somesimilaritiesbetweenUmsonstladenusers andconsumersatthemarketplacemaybetraced.Thelatter,accordingtothe homo oeconomicusconception,choosetheproductstheyneedorwish,managing
30 But some Umsonstladen activists hold that, even if people using the shop do not get to know But some eachother,theyshareideologicalandmoralvalueswhichbindthemtogetherinanabstractmanner. Forinstance,theydisapproveoftheprofitmotive,criticisematerialaccumulation,claimforausterity and generosity, and reject capitalist values and goals such as over-production, over-consumption or privateproperty.however,itisresignedlyadmittedthatnoteveryUmsonstladenparticipantsharesthis ideology.Morepragmaticattitudesaretolerated.As in AsinTauschringe,onlypeoplewithblatantlydeviant behaviours(likecontraveningthedrei-Teile-Regel)arepreventedfromparticipating.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

69

theirpurchasepowerinarationalway,anddisposeofcommoditiesassoon as they do not find them useful or attractive any more.31 As in the market, Umsonstladenusersarenotforcedtokeeponparticipating:withoutfurtherjustification,theymayneverentertheshopagain,ascommitmenttotheProjekt isnotapre-conditionforparticipation. InUmsonstlden,directcontactbetweentransactorsdoesnotusuallyoccur: impersonalityandanonymityaretherule.32Moreover,usersoftheshopare expectednottoturnuptoooften,asaregularvisitormayevenbesuspected ofactingcompulsivelyorofresellinginthesecond-handmarket.According to all this, the act of appropriation seems not to be different from that of taking home a piece of furniture that has been abandoned on a sidewalk. GoodstransactedinUmsonstldenhaveequallylosttheirpersonalmeaning,as theyarecompletelyalienatedinthesensepointedoutbyThomas(1991:39): alienationofathingisitsdissociationfromproducers,formerusers,orprior context.Asaresult,theseobjectswillcontinuetotravelalongtheirpath,and theirformerownerswillnothaveaninfluenceonthesubsequentphasesofthe objectssociallife(Appadurai1986). ThisiswhyUmsonstladengoods,eveniftheycannotbeequatedtopure commoditiescirculatinginthemarket,donotfullyfittheMaussiandefinition ofthegifteither,astransactorsaremutuallyindependentandcannotbesaid tobeconditionedbysharedmoralobligationstogive,toreceiveandtoreciprocate.Inaddition,objectsdonotcontributetocreatesocialrelationsbetween transactorsorwithinasharingcommunity.Butwecanstillcallthemgifts providedthatwedoitinthesenseproposedinthefollowingsection. Indian gifts in Berlin so,howcanwedefinetransferencesoccurringinaself-proclaimednon-market (or even anti-market) context, but where reciprocation is not expected and transactors do not even meet? Thomas (1991) and laidlaws (2000:618) remarksagainstGregoryssimplificationofthegiftastheoppositeofthecommodityareparticularlypertinentifwearetoshedlightonthiscase.Inorderto facethiscomplexity,wewillnowresorttothenotionofpuregift,asproposed byParry(1986),33andthatoffreegiftoutlinedbylaidlaw(2000).

31 Inacontextofmaterialover-abundancelikeBerlin,owningmanythingsisnotper sesomething positive.Itcanalsobeannoying,asobjectsbecomequicklyobsoleteandoutoffashion,andtakeup muchspaceathome.Environmentallyconsciouspeopleandthosefeelinguncomfortablewithoverconsumptioncanberelievedatdiscoveringhowtogetridofstill-usefulthings.Umsonstldenbecome thusanotheroptiontodisposeofsuchobjects,togetherwithcharityinstitutionsorrecyclingplants. 32 Exceptintwokindsofsituations:therenderingofservices,whichisrare,andthedonationsof bulkygoodsrequiringtherecipientsvisittothegivershome. 33 ThehomonymcategorysketchedbyMalinowski(2001[1922])hadmetMaussobjectionsand remainedunexaminedinThe Gift(laidlaw2000:617,627).

70

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


ForParry(1986:453),theideologyofpuregiftisinseparablefromthe ideologyofthepurelyinterestedindividualpursuitofutility.Indeed,assomeonedecidestousetheUmsonstladenonthebasisoftheirneedsorwishesand irrespectiveofthemoralconsiderationsaboutwhatatrueneedoralegitimatewishis,theymightaimatmaximisingutilitytothesameextentasthey dowhenevertheypurchaseinastoreorsellinthefleamarket.whatisclearly notatplayhereisMaussideaofanactorexchangingonbehalfofmoralpersona,becauseofhisorhersocialposition,andobligatedbyaprevioushistory oftransactions(1986:456).whatoccursinUmsonstldenwouldbecloserto whatParrydesignatesastheIndiangift(1986:463),ifweabstractitfromits religiouscontextandtransportittoourethnographiccase.Indeed,theobject is completely alienated from the donor, there is no obligation to give back, andthetransactiondoesnotinaugurateorreinforceasocialrelationbetween participants. For Parry, the Indian gift denies the ubiquity of the norm of reciprocity and allows to consider a category of gifts not considered in The Gift: those not expecting any kind of reciprocation, not even an increase in donorssocialprestigewithintheircommunity,asithappenswiththeIndian dana(laidlaw2000:622-624).Thisisalsothecaseinananonymoussetting liketheUmsonstladen,wherebringinganobjectissupposedtobeacompletely disinterestedaction. Nevertheless,someusersandactiviststalkabouttheabstractpleasureof satisfyingsomeoneelsesneedsorwishes,andpresenttheirgivingbehaviouras analtruisticgesturetowardsunknownothers.TheyrepresenttheUmsonstladen sphereascompletelyopposedtothatofthemarket,whereindividualinterestistheonlymotive.Thisdiscourseclaimingforthepreservationorthe reinventionofamoraleconomicrealminfrontoftheimpersonal,exploiting marketruleismostrecurrentinthecontemporarywesternZeitgeist,andresults fromaprogressivedisaggregationofthemodernformsofgiftandcommodity (laidlaw2000:627).ForCarrier(1995:145),thisentailstheconstructionof aculturalimageoftheperfectgift:somethingpriceless,freelygiven,withno returnexpectation,andentailingnoobligationsforthereceiver.34 AccordingtoCarrier,theconstructionofthegiftlocatedinthecommunityrealmasradicallyopposedtothecommoditylocatedinthemarket realm derives paradoxically from the capitalist ideology itself. In contemporarycontexts,whereeconomyandsocietyaredisembedded,non-capitalist economiclogicsarerestrictedtospheressuchasthehouseholdor,asinour case, the specific experiments of social movements. In turn, these marginal spheres tend to be redefined as a total negation of the market logic, which resultsintheso-calledideologyofthegift(Carrier1995)orofthepuregift
34 only the affective expression included in Carriers definition would not be fully applicable in Umsonstldenscase.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

71

(Parry 1986),where donorsvoluntarism and self-consciousness are stressed (Carrier,1995:21-22),whilethesmallesttraceofinterestintheactofgiving iscompletelydiscarded.35AsParryputsit,


In our kind of society, gifts come to represent something entirely different. Gift-exchange in which persons and things, interest and disinterest aremergedhasbeenfractured,leavinggiftsopposedtoexchange,persons opposedtothingsandinteresttodisinterest.Theideologyofadisinterested gift emerges in parallel with an ideology of a purely interested exchange (1986:458).

The author pursues his argument by stating that those who make free andunconstrainedcontractsinthemarketalsomakefreeandunconstrained gifts outside it (Parry 1986:466). According to this, far from understandingUmsonstldenandthemarketrealmastwowatertightcompartments,itis worthtoexaminetheirarticulation,bothfromamaterialandfromanideologicalviewpoint.First,mostofthegoodsexposedontheshelveshavebeenproduced for their commercialization and, therefore, under market constraints. Moreover,asdescribedabove,someofthemwillevenbereintroducedinthe second-handmarket.second,andmostinterestingly,theveryideologicalfoundationoftheProjektmirrorsinfactthecapitalisthegemony,astheindividuals autonomousdecisionsarestressedasmuchastheyareinthemarket.
CoNClusIoN:CouNTErACTINGThEMArkETrulE

The ethnographic materials presented here have showed that neither Tauschringe nor Umsonstlden approaches, two distinct attempts to promote nonmarket economic relations, fully fit the Maussian notion of the gift. As an interpretationofthegiftascompletelyopposedtothecommodity,intheway suggestedbyGregory(1982;1997),couldnottakeouranalysismuchfurther, wehavepointedouttheneedforacloserexaminationofthecirculationpatternspromotedbytheseProjekte. Indeed, both experiences aim at a de-commodification of economic practices,astheyhavebeendeliberatelylocatedoutsidethemarketspherebytheir promoters.Inthissense,theystressusevalueoverexchangevalue,recognisethe importanceofworktakingplacebeyondthelabourmarketboundariesanddeal withneedsandwishesthatarenotnecessarilyexpressedasmarketdemand. however,eveniftheycertainlybelongtothecommunityrealm,theycannot be considered as genuine manifestations of the Maussian gift provided
35 ThesameideologyinspirestheethicofdisinterestedgivingpromotedbyChristiancharityandby otherreligions(Parry1986:468;laidlaw2000:627,632).

72

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


thatobligationstotake,togiveawayandtoreciprocateonlypotentially ariseinTauschringe,andaretotallylackingintheUmonstldenscase.Besides, asuperiorstatusofthedonorovertherecipient,asdescribedbyMauss(1979 [1923-24]:204-205),wouldnotbeanacceptableoutcome,providedthatboth P rojektearefoundedonanegalitarianideology.TheorganisationofUmsonstlden explicitlyaimsatpreventingtheemergenceofahierarchyasparticipantsare notaskedtoprovetheirneedyconditioninordertotakesomethingaway. likewise,inTauschringe,peoplesnegativeorpositiveaccountsshouldnotcruciallyaffecttheirrelativestatusortheirabilitytoaccessfurtherresources. despite their similarities, the Projekte differ in essential regards. It is true that,inbothcases,participationdoesnotstronglydependonprevioussocial connexionsorinthesocialpositionsofparticipants.Butaftercometime,in theTauschringcase,acertainlimitationofindividualautonomymayresultfrom repeatedtransactions,evenifeverydecisiononparticipationremainsself-determined,andthenetworkcanbegivenupatanytime.Inthissense,acommunitylikemoralframeworkisnottobecompletelyattained,butsomeobligations, similar to those existing in less elective contexts such as the neighbourhood, mayemanatefromthedemandsandexpectationsoffriendswhoarealsoparticipating.ThesearesuccessstoriesintheTauschringarena:itsinstitutionalised, contractualstructureintendedforbalancedexchangesometimesgivesriseto disinterestedgift-givingpracticesamongthemostcommittedparticipants. wehavetriedtounderstandtheUmsonstldencasebyassumingCarriers statementthat,inoursociety,thegiftispopularlyrepresentedasfreelygiven anddevoidofanyexpectationofcompensation.Thegenerationofobligations fortherecipientisthusdenied.Accordingtothis,inUmsonstlden,themodern tensionbetweenthelongingforindividualautonomyanautonomousself andthewishtocreatedependenceandobligationwhilegivingasituatedself (Carrier1995:147,160)ismergedwithalibertarianideologicalinspiration. Asaresult,theUmsonstldenuserpersonifiesthedisinterestedstrangeraimingtocontributetothecommongoodinanabstractmannerratherthanon thebasisofactualsocialrelations(Carrier1995:164). ThemaingoalofbothkindsofProjekte,asspecificexperiencesofthesocial economy,istore-attacheconomiccirculationtosocialneedsbyofferingalternativestomarketconsumption.whathasbeenexaminedhereistheroleof thegiftandcommoditynotionsinthedefinitionoftheirgoalsandoperation. But,todeterminetheextentofeachProjektsparticularsuccess,amorein-depthconsiderationoftheirempiricalapplicationwouldbeneeded.Then,ifit isconfirmedthatUmsonstladenusersactuallyreconsidertheirunderstandingof needs,wishesandvalue,takingdecisionswithoutregardtomarketprices,and thattheseekforsocialencountersprevailsovercalculationandself-interested motivesforTauschringparticipants,thentheseProjektewillhavesucceededin counteractingtoacertainextenttheubiquityofthemarketrule.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

73

REFERENCES
APPAdurAI,Arjun,1986,Introduction:commoditiesandthepoliticsofvalue,inArjun

Appadurai(ed.), The Social Life of Things.Cambridge,CambridgeuniversityPress,3-63. BErdAhl,daphne,1997,Where the World Ended: Re-unification and Identity in the German Borderland.Berkeley,universityofCaliforniaPress. BohANNAN,Paul,1981,Elimpactodelamonedaenunaeconomaafricanadesubsistencia,inJosr.llobera(ed.),Antropologa Econmica.Barcelona,Anagrama,189-200. BourdIEu,Pierre,1980,lecapitalsocial:notesprovisoires,Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales,31:2-3. BowrING,Finn,1998,lETs:aneco-socialistinitiative?,New Left Review, 232:91-111. BrANdoN,Peterd.,2000,Ananalysisofkin-providedchildcareinthecontextofintrafamilyexchanges,American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 59(2):191-216. CArrIEr,James,1995,Gifts and Commodities: Exchange and Western Capitalism since 1700. london,routledge. CrEwE,louise,andNickyGrEGsoN,1998,Talesoftheunexpected:exploringcarboot sales as marginal spaces of contemporary consumption, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers,23(1):39-53. dAvIs,John,1973,Theparticulartheoryofexchange,European Journal of Sociology, 16: 151-168. duNN, Elizabeth, 1999, slick salesmen and simple people: negotiated capitalism in a privatized polish firm, in Michael Burawoy and katherine verdery (eds.), Uncertain Transition: Ethnographies of Change in the Postsocialist World. lanham(Maryland),rowman &littlefield,125-150. GEroMETTA, Julia, 1999, Mglichkeiten und Grenzen von Tauschringen in Grossstdten: Das Beispiel Berlin Friedrichshain. Freie universitt Berlin, Institut fr Geographische w issenschaften,graduationthesis. GodElIEr,Maurice,2004,Acercadelascosasquesedan,delascosasquesevendenyde lasquenohayquevendernidarsinoquehayqueguardar:unareevaluacincrticadel ensayosobreeldondeMarcelMauss,inPazMoreno(ed.),Entre las Gracias y el Molino Satnico: Lecturas de Antropologa Econmica.Madrid,uNEd,195-210. GrEGory,ChrisA.,1982,Gifts and Commodities.london,AcademicPress. , 1997, Savage Money: The Anthropology and Politics of Commodity Exchange. Amsterdam, 1997, harwoodAcademicPublishers. GrNErT,Ch.,1999,Tauschringe: Eine Effiziente Alternative zum Klassischen Markt?,extracted fromadegreedissertation,in<www.tauschring-archiv.de r-Archiv istorieTs isto/T /h /h rie.html>. GudEMAN, stephen, 2001, The Anthropology of Economy: Community, Market, and Culture. oxford,BlackwellPublishers. hErrMANN, Gretchen M., 1997, Gift or commodity: what changes hands in the u.s. garagesale?,American Ethnologist,24(4):910-930. hErrMANN,Jens,2005,utopiameetsreality:Grezerfahrungeninderanderenwirtschaft, Hefte zu Widerstand und Vision,Nullnummer,stiftungFreirume. huMPhrEy,Caroline,2002,The Unmaking of Soviet Life: Everyday Economies after Socialism. london,CornelluniversityPress.

74

IrENEsABATMurIEl

etnogrfica maiode2009 13(1):49-75


Joly,Nathalie,andJean-PierresylvEsTrE,2004,logiquesdchangeetformesdesocia-

bilit:lesrseauxdchangesrciproquesdesavoirs,inNolBarbeandsergelatouche (eds.),conomies choisies? changes, circulations et dbrouille.Paris,ditionsdelaMaison dessciencesdelhomme,9-22. koPyToFF,Igor,1986,Theculturalbiographyofthings:commoditizationasprocess,in Arjun Appadurai(ed.), The Social Life of Things.Cambridge,CambridgeuniversityPress, 64-91. lAAChEr, sman, 2004, une conomie choisie: lexemple des systmes dchanges locaux,inNolBarbeandsergelatouche(eds.),conomies choisies? changes, circulations et dbrouille.Paris,ditionsdelaMaisondessciencesdelhomme,23-38. lAIdlAw,James,2000,Afreegiftmakesnofriends,Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute,6:617-634. lAurAIrE, richard, 2004, vers des organisations dualistes? les systmes dchanges locaux,inNolBarbeandsergelatouche(eds.),conomies choisies? changes, circulations et dbrouille.Paris,ditionsdelaMaisondessciencesdelhomme,59-73. loMNITZ,larissa,1975,Cmo Sobreviven los Marginados.Mxico,sigloxxI. MAlINowskI, Bronislaw, 2001 [1922], Los Argonautas del Pacfico Occidental. Barcelona, Pennsula. MAuss,Marcel,1979[1923-24],Ensayosobrelosdones:raznyformadelcambioen las sociedades primitivas, in Marcel Mauss, Sociologa y Antropologa. Madrid, Tecnos (Englishtranslation:The Gift, Abingdon,routledge,2002). NETZwErk GrATIskoNoMIE, 2005, Bye-bye capitalism, Hefte zu Widerstand und Vision,Nullnummer,stiftungFreirume. NorTh,Peter,2002,lETsinacoldclimate:greendollars,self-helpandneoliberalwelfare inNewZealand,Policy and Politics, 30(4):483-499. PArry,Jonathan,1986,Thegift,theIndiangiftandtheIndiangift,Man,21(3):453-473. PArry, Jonathan, and Maurice BloCh, 1989, Introduction: money and the morality of exchange, in Jonathan Parry and Maurice Bloch (eds.), Money and the Morality of Exchange.Cambridge,CambridgeuniverstityPress,1-32. PATICo,Jennifer,2002,Chocolateandcognac:giftsandtherecognitionofsocialworldsin post-sovietrussia,Ethnos,67(3):345-368. PIErrET,dorothee,1999,Cerclesdchanges,cerclesvertueuxdelasolidarit:lecasde lAllemagne,International Journal of Community Currency Research,13,1-13. PolANyI,karl,1994[1977],El Sustento del Hombre.Barcelona,Mondadori. ,2001[1944],The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. 2001 [1944], Boston,BeaconPress. sABAT,Irene,2006,Al Margen del Mercado? Consumos Heterodoxos en la Innenstadt de Berln Este.Barcelona,universitatdeBarcelona,MAdissertation. ,2008,Eltrabajodehabitar:rehabilitacinautogestionadayhabitacincomunitaria 2008, El trabajo de habitar: rehabilitacin autogestionada y habitacin comunitaria enBerln,Arquivos da Memria,3:58-91. sAhlINs,Marshall,1983[1974],Economa de la Edad de Piedra.Madrid,Akal. sChrdEr,rolfF.h.,2004,Non-ProfitTauschsysteme:Einliteraturberblick,working paper(version8 004),in<http: 29.3.20.41 ps eet apers 311 311001.pdf>. /2 / /1 /e /m /p /0 /0 ,2006,CommunityexchangeandtradingsystemsinGermany,International Journal of 2006, Community exchange and trading systems in Germany, Community Currency Research,10:24-42.

ExChANGENETworksANdFrEEshoPsINBErlIN

75

sTACk, Carol, 1974, All our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community. New york,

harper&row.
suPIoT, Alain, 2000, The dogmatic foundations of the market, Industrial Law Journal,

29(4):321-345.
ThoMAs,Nicholas,1991, Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture and Colonialism in the

Pacific.Cambridge(MA),harvarduniversityPress. wEINEr,Annette,1992,Inalienable Possessions: The Paradox of Keeping-While-Giving. Berkeley, universityofCaliforniaPress.

Redes de intercmbio e lojas gratuitas em Berlim: ddiva e mercadoria em experincias alterna tivas de consumo Irene sabat Muriel universitat de Barcelona etnoirenegmail.com IrenesabatMuriel universitatdeBarcelona oartigobaseia-senumaetnografiadeprticasdeconsumoalternativasnosbairroscentraisdaantiga Berlim-leste.soaquianalisadasasredesdeintercmbionomonetrio(Tauschringe)easlojasgratuitas(Umsonstlden).AsUmsonstldensoenquadradaspelaideologiacontemporneadaddivapura (Parry1986;Carrier1995):osobjectossodadosgratuitamenteetotalmentealienadosdosseuspossuidores.JasTauschringe,porseulado,induzemporvezesprticasdeofertaqueimplicamobrigaes mtuas,comoconsequnciadetrocasfrequentesqueaproximamsocialmenteosparticipantes.omaterialetnogrficoapresentadopeemcausaaadequaodobinmioddiva ercadoriaanlisedessas /m experincias,namedidaemquediferentesmodalidadesdeofertaseconjugamcomtendnciasparaa mercadorizao.Faceaessacomplexidade,oartigopropeumarevisodaanlisedopapeldaddiva emprticasdeconsumoalternativaspromovidaspelosmovimentossociaisemBerlim.
PAlAvrAs-ChAvE: antropologia econmica, ddiva ercadoria, redes de intercmbio, lojas gratuitas, /m

consumo,economiasocial,movimentossociais,Berlim.