Strategic Affection?

Gift Exchange in Seventeenth-Century Holland

Irma Thoen

Irma Thoen

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

288 pages | 6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Paper $38.50 ISBN: 9789053568118 Published April 2007 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Since the early days of humanity, gifts as varied as valued objects, hospitality, and works of art have been an essential means of establishing and maintaining social ties. Strategic Affection? studies the exchange of gifts in order to explore the nature of seventeenth-century Dutch social relations. Looking at such widely divergent figures as schoolmasters, artisans, poets, and nobles, Irma Thoen compares seventeenth-century Dutch gifts with contemporary gift exchanges to show that both strategy and affection are necessary elements of any social relations—and that what changes most is not the system but the discourse of exchange.
Part I: Practices of Gift Exchange
Part II: Gifts and Meanings
     A. Rites of Passage
     B. Hospitality
Part III: Terms and Conditions of Exchange
Part IV: Comparison in Time
Index of Subjects
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