A guide map to the terrain of gift value



This article integrates a broad range of gift-giving literature into a conceptual framework that puts the all too often overlooked construct of personal value at its core. Although there have been substantial contributions from the fields of anthropology, sociology, economics, and consumer behavior, efforts to model gift giving have failed to put the value of the gift-giving experience at the center of the exchange. Within this article, a model of the gift-giving experience that overcomes this critical shortcoming is proposed. The model establishes clear categories for breaking the giving process into easily examinable elements, and it is argued that although the concept of value is not a simple one, it should be central to any examination of the gift-giving phenomenon. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.