SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY
Social exchange theory is a theory associated with the work of George Homans and Peter Blau and built on the assumption that all human relationships can be understood in terms of an exchange of roughly equivalent values. Social exchange theory is linked to rational choice theory and structuralism, and features many of their main assumptions.
According to social exchange theory all human relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit analysis and the comparison of alternatives. George Caspar Homans, Richard Emerson, Peter M. Blau, Peter Ekeh, and Karen Cook are credited with the consolidation of the foundations of Social Exchange Theory.
Again social exchange theory posits that these exchanges are seldom monetary, rather they are frequently intangibles like intimacy, social status, connections.
Homanss article entitled Social Behavior as Exchange is viewed as the most important work on social exchange theory. "Social behavior is an exchange of goods, material goods but also non-material ones, such as the symbols of approval or prestige.
Persons that give much to others try to get much from them, and persons that get much from others are under pressure to give much to them. This process of influence tends to work out at equilibrium to a balance in the exchanges. For a person in an exchange in exchange theory, what he gives may be a cost to him, just as what he gets may be a reward, and his behavior changes less as the difference of the two, profit, tends to a maximum."
Social Exchange Theory as a Conceptual Framework
for Teaching the Sociological Perspective. - O'Brien, Jodi A.; Kollock, Peter -
Teaching Sociology, v19 n2 Apr 1991
BRINGING EMOTIONS INTO SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY
Some Amendments to Social Exchange Theory: A
Blau, P. M. (1964). Exchange and power in social life. New York: Wiley.
Befu, Harumi (1977). Social Exchange. Annual Review of Anthropology, 6, 225-281.
Cook, K. S., and R. M. Emerson. (1978). "Power, Equity and Commitment in Exchange Networks." American Sociological Review 43:721-739.
Ekeh, Peter Palmer. (1974). Social exchange theory : the two traditions. London: Heinemann Educational.
Elster, Jon (1998). Emotions And Economic Theory. Journal
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