Theoretical comparisons of forms of exchange

Sociological Theory 21 (1):1-17 (2003)
Abstract
A recent program comparing negotiated and reciprocal forms of social exchange offers important implications for theory development. Results of these investigations show that the form of exchange studied-negotiated or reciprocal-affects many of the processes and assumptions underlying contemporary theories of exchange. Three such effects are discussed here. First, the form of exchange affects the causal mechanisms underlying power use and the relation between network structure and power. Second, whether exchange is negotiated or reciprocal affects the relative emphasis on learning or rational-choice models and the breadth of motivations assumed for "self-interested" actors, including reward maximization, loss avoidance, and reciprocity. Third, the form of exchange affects the salience of the cooperative and competitive "faces" of exchange, influencing actors' subjective experiences with exchange. These results show the limitations of theories based on any single form of exchange and the need for greater understanding of the full range of exchange forms that characterize social life
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