One of the specific narrative methods of establishing community, of creating and maintaining shared world-views, is gift exchange. In contrast to the exchange of commodities, the exchange of gifts establishes enduring connections between people.
It is the cardinal difference between gift and commodity exchange that a gift establishes a feeling-bond between two people, while the sale of a commodity leaves no necessary connection.
— Lewis Hyde, p. 56
A gift, then, presented and represented within a narrative framework, works to establish a community within which more gifts are given and more narratives (re)constructed. It is this very circularity — for the “gift not only moves, it moves in a circle” (Lewis Hyde, p. 11) — of enduring gift relationships which serves so well to generate and maintain community.