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TOWARD A GENERAL THEORY OF SOCIAL EXCHANGE

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Abstract:

Proponents of the individualistic and collectivistic theories of social exchange behavior contend that the two perspectives cannot be integrated because they are based on different assumptions about the relationship between individuals and society. In addition, the opponents of integration argue that such an effort would undermine the polemical development of sociological theory. This paper uses existing ethnographic and anthropological evidence to argue that the individualistic and collectivistic orientations of social exchange theory can be successfully integrated since they are not mutually exclusive as claimed by their proponents. I propose to synthesize the individualistic and collectivistic perspectives into an interactional exchange model of behavior that takes into account the full range of individual and group motives, values and interests.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1993.21.3.227

Publication date: 1993-01-01

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