The sociological guide to giving Christmas gifts

Here are nine sociological rules for giving gifts at Christmas. Several things to note:

1. This comes out of the long-running study of “Middletown,” otherwise known as Muncie, Indiana. I am still amazed at all of the material uncovered over the decades in this project.

2. These rules were originally published in a 1984 article in the American Journal of Sociology titled “Rule Enforcement Without Visible Means: Christmas Gift Giving in Middletown.” I tend to think of AJS as being austere so I’m not quite sure what to make of the inclusion of this article…

3. I wonder if some of these rules have changed in recent years.

4. One final question: if a sociologist started explaining his or her family’s gift giving practices in this way to the participants, how many families would have a favorable reaction?

One thought on “The sociological guide to giving Christmas gifts

  1. Pingback: What a sociologist learned about giving Christmas gifts from Middletown | Legally Sociable

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