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Social Exchange

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  1. Social Exchange • Background: • Theoretical Roots: • Classical Anthropology: Malinowski (Kula exchange), Levi-Strauss (Classificatory Kinship studies), Durkheim • Homans, Blau, Emerson, Ekeh • Direct Exchange: • Emerson, Cook, Yamagishi • -Power Dependence, Vulnerability • Willer, Markovski, Skvoretz, Lovaglia • - Network Exchange Theory (NET) • Game Theory • - Bienenstock & Bonacich • Central questions about power • Generalized Exchange: • Bearman • Nobuyuki Takahashi • Central question is about solidarity & Social cohesion

  2. Social Exchange: Direct Theoretical Background: Peter Blau’s Exchange and Power in Social Life and Homans’ Elementary Forms are central starting points for much of this work • Blau • Most of social life rests on interaction • Interaction is rarely a purely disinterested affair • People seek something from interaction and give something in turn • Blau focused on: • what distinguished economic from social exchange • the forces propelling reciprocity • the importance of ambiguity in social exchange • Social debt • How power comes from controlling resources

  3. Social Exchange: Direct Theoretical Background: The view of actors is individualistic & rational. With Homans this rested mainly on a Skinner-esque behaviorism and basic rational actor models. Blau dropped most of the behaviorism issues (though different psychological issues were taken up by Emerson & others) in favor of a simplified economic view. Blau argues that, “An apparent ‘altruism’ pervades social life; people are anxious to benefit one another and to reciprocate for the benefits they receive. But beneath this seeming selflessness an underlying ‘egoism’ can be discovered; the tendency to help others is frequently motivated by the expectation that doing so will bring social rewards.”

  4. Social Exchange: Direct Theoretical Background: From this, Blau develops a theory of exchange and power. We exchange with others for the things we can’t get ourselves (favors from colleagues, romantic interest from people we are attracted to, skills). Those that control these resources have power, since others are willing to provide something for them. Social exchange differs from economic exchange in the extent of ambiguity underlying the exchange (how much is a half hour of a colleague's time worth? Or an hour of the attention of someone you are attracted to?), which has multiple implications for the dynamics of social interaction

  5. Social Exchange: Direct Theoretical Background: People have extended (or, in many cases, reacted against) Blau’s propositions in multiple ways. Most versions of network exchange theory starts with Blau’s assertion that power follows from the control of resources. That unilateral control leads to power in a dyad is one thing, but how does control over exchange differ when we move beyond the dyad to larger exchange structures? This is the branch of ideas that lead to Network Exchange Theory and Power Dependence Theory The focus is less on the ambiguity or uniquely social aspect of the exchange event, but rather on how any exchange relation is affected by the social structure that restricts exchange partners.

  6. Social Exchange: Direct Cook, Emerson, Gilmore and Yamagishi A relatively early paper in a long sequence of work (see handout). This piece sets up one branch the exchange theory. For a great review of the other dominant branch, see Network Exchange Theory (Willer, 1999) A very active research community, interested in identifying how the structure of a network can give particular members of the network greater control over resources. In most cases, the work is experimental and formal, moving very carefully along theoretically defined lines, and testing each step with experiments.

  7. Social Exchange: Direct Basic Concepts “Many of the social networks of interest to social scientists can be analyzed fruitfully as exchange networks, provided that the specific content of the social relations in the network involves the transfer of valued items” Consists of: 1) a set of actors 2) a distribution of valued resources among those actors 3) for each actor a set of exchange opportunities 4) a set of historically used exchange relations (subset of 4) 5) a set of network connections linking exchange relations into a single network structure

  8. Social Exchange: Direct Basic Concepts • Definition 1: Two exchange relations between actors A-B and A-C are connected to form the minimal network B-A-C to the degree that exchange in one relation is contingent on exchange (or nonexchange) in the other relation. • The connection is positive if exchange in one relation is contingent on exchange in another relation • The connection is negative if exchange in one relation is contingent on nonexchange in the other.

  9. Social Exchange: Direct Basic Concepts • Definition 2: A position in a graph or network is a set of one or more points whose residual graphs are isomorphic (I.e. automorphic equivalence) • Used to simplify the analysis of otherwise more complex networks • Position in the network determines exchange behavior

  10. Social Exchange: Direct (Used in previous experiments) (Used in the experiment)

  11. Social Exchange: Direct Basic Concepts • In these networks, • Each actor has a resource which the other actors want • each line represents an opportunity for exchange • Solid lines represent a more profitable exchange opportunity than dashed lines. • They expect that the high profit opportunities will be converted into relations • The emergent networks are negatively connected: any use of one opportunity means that another is forgone • Actors have no knowledge of the structure beyond their own set of relations

  12. E E F F Social Exchange: Direct Research Question: Do predictions based on power dependence notions and those based solely on structural centrality yield the same results in negatively connected networks? • Compare Betweenness centrality and Closeness Centrality • Hypothesis: • In figure 1c, D > E > F in power D (note that this results from the weak connection between F, otherwise the graph would be a simple circle)

  13. Social Exchange: Direct Power Dependence Theory Def. 3. In any dyadic exchange relation Ax; By (where A and B are actors and x and y are resources introduced in exchange), the power of A over B (PAB) is the potential of A to obtain favorable outcomes at B’s expense. Def. 4. The dependence (DAB) of A on B in a dyadic exchange relation is a joint function (1) varying directly with the value of y to A, and (2) varying inversely with the availability of y to A from alternate sources. Power Dependence hypothesis: PAB = DBA

  14. D E E F F Social Exchange: Direct Power Dependence Theory H2: As the exchange process proceeds, E will display more power use than the occupants of position D and F, as seen by (a) an increase over time in the amount of benefits gained and (b) a greater absolute level of exchange benefit by E in the final exchange phase. H3: Power of E over F will be seen before that of E over D H4; Position E will exert equal levels of power over the occupants of F and D by the final or stable phase of power use.

  15. Social Exchange: Direct Experimental Exchange Process • Communication only through computer, to restrict opportunities to the form listed in the network • Subjects negotiate with each other for “profit points” by sending offers and counter offers (the value differed by exchange partner, so that F to F would lead to lower profits for each point traded (for F) than an F to E would, in keeping with the broken / solid line structure of the network.) • Subjects could not compare their benefits to other’s benefits

  16. Social Exchange: Direct Experimental Results Results confirm Power dependence theory

  17. Social Exchange: Direct Simulation Results

  18. 25 20 E E D D 15 Points 10 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Time

  19. Social Exchange: Generalized • The questions behind generalized exchange differ from those in direct exchange: • Goods can often be transferred long distances, which can’t occur in the negatively connected exchange networks. • People do not directly benefit by being a ‘giver’ -- no immediate reciprocity • Interest in how exchange unites a large society • Interest in problems of free riding and compliance

  20. Social Exchange: Generalized History The Kula Ring. One of the most cited examples of a generalized exchange process is the Kula Ring. ... ... ... ... Necklaces Armbands

  21. Social Exchange: Generalized Basic types: Network Generalized Exchange: Examples include: Giving blood, reviewing journal articles, carpools

  22. Social Exchange: Generalized Basic types: Chain Generalized Exchange Examples: Kula Ring Some forms of Kinship

  23. Social Exchange: Generalized In all generalized exchange systems, those who give are not necessarily those who receive, and thus there is great opportunity for free riding. Bearman is interested in (a) identifying a generalized exchange system and (b) explaining how it came to be and how it is maintained.

  24. Social Exchange: Generalized Why Exchange? We exchange because some of the things we have we can’t use. Economic exchange rests on the conversion of use-value to exchange-value. Social exchange rests on exchanging use-values directly. Something that person A has is useful to B, but not to A, which makes it available for exchange. In the Groote Eylandt case, the incest taboo makes sisters unavailable for marriage, and thus items of exchange. Almost all classificatory kinship systems have a known structure, based on who is allowed to marry who. The puzzling point on Groote Eylandt was that the normative rules guiding marriage were self-contradictory, making it impossible to develop a coherent marriage system.

  25. Social Exchange: Generalized

  26. Social Exchange: Generalized The normative alternatives Normatively, A male should marry his FZD (Father’s Sister’s Daughter)

  27. Social Exchange: Generalized The normative alternatives 1) Ego in group 1 seeks a wife. Where does he go? FZD E 2)E’s Father is in Group 3. 3) E’s Father’s Sister was married into group 4. FZ F 4) E’s FZ’s daughter goes to Group 1 5) E should marry his FZD, who is in 1.

  28. M FZ F FZD E Social Exchange: Generalized The normative alternatives The bilateral cousin marriage system in western genealogy terms

  29. Social Exchange: Generalized The normative alternatives B A

  30. Social Exchange: Generalized The normative alternatives E MMBDD Who Should E marry? E’s F is in 5 E’s M is in 7 E’s MM is in 4 E’s MMB is in 4 E’s MMBD is in 6 E’s MMBDD is in 1 F MMBD M MMF MMB MM MF

  31. Social Exchange: Generalized The normative alternatives MM MMB F MMBD M F MMBDD E (Second Cousins)

  32. Social Exchange: Generalized The normative alternatives On Groote Eylandt, names for kin could fit in either system. But logically, the two cannot occur at the same time. Ethnographers of Groote Eylandt concluded that the kinship system there was a jumbled mess. The only thing that all ethnographers agreed on was that people could not marry within their own moiety. But is it? People seemed to know who to marry, what patter, if any, did their marriages fall under? To test this, use data on kinship status among the aborigines and block model the movement of wives across the system.

  33. Social Exchange: Generalized The raw data for the analysis are 5 relationship matrices: • MB, M, MBS, MBD • MMBDS, MMBDD, W, HZ,WB,H • ZS, ZD, FZD, FZS • FMB, FM, DD, DS • MF, MFZ • M = Mother, B = Brother, D = Daughter, S = Son, Z =Sister • Note these are classificatory equivalents on Groote E.

  34. Social Exchange: Generalized Marriage patterns across named section, grouped by Moiety Log-Linear model shows that, with respect to named section, mixing is random within moiety

  35. Social Exchange: Generalized After block modeling the kinship relations, Berman calculated the flow of wives across blocks. The result was a near-perfect cycle.

  36. Social Exchange: Generalized • Where does this structure come from? • It can be maintained, once in place, in many ways (Balance, self interest), but that is not sufficient to explain where it came from. • Bearman argues that chain generalized exchange follows because of the demographic pressure induced by the the great age difference in marriage (18 years) and polygamy.