The Transactional Gift-Exchange: A Morphogenetic Analysis of Unpaid Internships.

MORRISON, Andrew (2023). The Transactional Gift-Exchange: A Morphogenetic Analysis of Unpaid Internships. Journal of Critical Realism.

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This paper combines the use of gift theory and the metatheory of the Morphogenetic Approach as a framework for the proposal that the relationship between unpaid interns and ‘employers’ may be conceptualised as a form of transactional, but asymmetrical, gift-exchange. The article begins by applying insights from gift theory to the findings of a range of studies into unpaid internships. It is argued that, while interns are the initial gift-givers in delivering unpaid labour, ‘employers’ often demonstrate weak reciprocation in terms of offering paid work. Following that, the article combines gift analysis with the Morphogenetic Approach. This framework offers ontological depth to the substantive propositions of gift theory, and provides conceptual tools to study the interplay between structure/culture and agency that form the intern-‘employer’ relationship. The contribution of this article lies in the combined use of two key theoretical perspectives to a problematic not previously examined through such concepts.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1606 Political Science; 2203 Philosophy; 5003 Philosophy
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 23 May 2023 11:19
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 12:18

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