The Gift in the Heart of Language: The Maternal Source of Meaning (Paperback)
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The author offers a paradigm-shifting view of the structure of material and verbal communication, based on the mother-child experience and confirmed by recent research in infant psychology. This view justifies a relational epistemology that informs the material gift economy, as well as the structure of language itself. Provisioning economies give value to the receivers, and the circulation of gifts consolidates community. Understanding language as verbal gifting unites other orientations with reason, to liberate us from biopathic, patriarchal conceptions of humanity. Sketched against this background, Vaughan introduces a conception of monetized exchange as a gift-denying and expropriating psychological mechanism, which is an unintended collective by product of verbal communication.