Anthropological theory of value. When Mauss meets Marx

Michał Rauszer PhD (Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, University of Warsaw), moderator: Przemysław Wielgosz (LMD-PL)

Are we dealing with a singular value or a multiplicity of values in economics? Orthodox economics is in favour of the former. In his talk, Michał Rauszer PhD, will try to show how anthropology approaches the notion of value, and how this approach could enable us to overstep the limitations of value theories dominant in the field of economics. Our point of departure will be the research conducted by David Graeber in his work Toward Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams. For Graeber, it is important to indicate three areas of anthropological analysis of value: what is considered of value in social life, what people are willing to sacrifice to obtain something, and the concept of a significant difference (type of sign value in the linguistic tradition). On these grounds, Graeber proposes his own concept based on the analysis of what people consider valuable in life, how such value is created socially, and what are its economic consequences. The perception of what is valuable implies creating social institutions “rebuilding” this significance of value. Graeber tries to show how people, in various ways, construct social worlds in which such value has significance that defines social relationships.

The meeting will be held on Zoom. Registration required (open until 22.03.2021) via the application form on our website. We will e-mail the link to the meeting to registered participants. We are planning live streaming on Facebook. The meeting will be recorded and archived on our YouTube channel and in Resources on Biennale website. To protect your image, we ask you to keep your cameras and microphones off during the entire event. But we do encourage you to join the discussion and send us questions on the chat. The moderator Przemysław Wielgosz will ask them on your behalf.