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The Challenge of Affluence$
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Avner Offer

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216628.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 May 2021

The Economy of Regard

The Economy of Regard

(p.75) 5 The Economy of Regard
The Challenge of Affluence

Avner Offer

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines reciprocity, the main source of rewards outside the market. Reciprocity generates mutual regard, which is among the most highly valued of satisfactions, and cannot be authenticated reliably in the market. This accounts for its pervasive persistence as a form of exchange. The well-being of people depends on receiving acknowledgement, attention, and approbation, on affirmations, confirmations, and gifts. Positive status, so vital to well-being, is an interpersonal relationship. In the ‘economy of regard’, the approbation of others is secured by the reciprocal gift of our own. The market relation is adversarial, and it is rarely possible to completely relax one's guard. In reciprocal relations, authenticity is vital. The authenticity of friendship, for example, is not something that most people would wish to purchase with money.

Keywords:   reciprocity, mutual regard, market relation, authenticity, money

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