La Revue du MAUSS (Mouvement anti-utilitariste en science sociale) [Anti-Utilitarian Movement in the Social Sciences] is an interdisciplinary and international journal that was created in1981. In its double meaning the title suffices as an indication of the journal’s purpose and objectives: First, as “Anti-utilitarian,” the journal proposes a critique that goes beyond the many economicist views of man and society as much in the social sciences as in moral and political philosophy. Secondly, its title honors Marcel Mauss, the nephew and intellectual heir of Émile Durkheim. Mauss is known throughout the world as the author of The Gift (1924-1925), considered the most important text in the history of the social sciences, in particular for its contribution to an empirical basis for moral and political philosophy.
The main innovation of The Gift is the notion that ancient societies had no concept of the economic human and were not based on the market, contracts or barter, but on what Mauss called “the three obligations of giving, receiving and reciprocating.” MAUSS wagers on the possibility of renewing and extending this innovation in the context of “the gift-paradigm,” and using it as a basis for a general social theory that is pertinent as much for political philosophy as for economics, sociology or anthropology: an engaged social theory with a mission to assume its ethical and political issues.
Each quarterly issue of the journal is focused on a particular theme (for example, psychoanalysis, the question of the gift of women or nature or prison, etc.) developed in the context of the gift-paradigm. The journal systematically observes two principles. First, to provide a space for the most diverse and opposite opinions and, in particular for opinions critical of MAUSS. Second, to remain pertinent on an academic level while remaining accessible and attractive to the general reader.