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What is a gift economy? - Alex Gendler

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TEDEd Animation

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What if, this holiday season, instead of saying "thank you" to your aunt for her gift of a knitted sweater, the polite response expected from you was to show up at her house in a week with a better gift? Or to vote for her in the town election? Or let her adopt your firstborn child? Alex Gendler explains how all of these things might not sound so strange if you were involved in a gift economy.

What is the purpose of the objects traded in the Kula ring?

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Avi Ofer
  • Narrator Pen-Pen Chen

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