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Social Exchange Theory is a perspective of the field of social psychology and sociology to explain social change and stability, representing them as a process of negotiated exchanges between people. Social exchange theory can be described as the theory, according to which, human interaction is a unique transaction, which seeks to increase the “rewards” and to reduce the “costs”.
The social exchange theory advocates that all human relationships are formed by using a cost-benefit analysis and comparison with alternatives. For example, when a person perceives the costs of a relationship over the profits made, the person, according to this theory, leaves the relationship. This theory has its roots in economics, psychology and sociology. The social exchange theory is linked to the rational choice theory and structuralism, its major features.
Exchange theory arose as a reaction to functionalism, which focused on the impact of a phenomenon on the system. This is not a single theory, but rather the band theory, describing the social world as a system of exchanges of goods (tangible and intangible) between individuals and social groups. Social exchange theorists see every interaction as a transaction – “something for something.” It is like a “theory of individual self-interest.” If a person takes any action, it does so with the prospect of benefit for himself. Often it is the intangible benefit, such as respect from others, obedience, satisfaction, etc.
Social exchange theory is a theory in social science which states that there are elements in social relations without discipline, sacrifice, and benefits that affect each other. This theory explains how humans view their relationships with others in accordance with the assumption of human self is to: the balance between what is given to the relationship and what is excluded from that relationship.
There is no unified sociology of exchange, but one can distinguish three main theoretical points of theories. Taking the example of the mutual exchange of between the bride and groom, so this could be either a civil contract between two different-actors to the mutual exclusive use of their bodies, or a mutually donated sacrament, by which Christianity continues, or view as an institutional and thus pacification a driver or will form.
Exchange of individuals. Sociological theorists think consider the assumption that individuals always act when exchanged (individualistic, paired, antagonistic perspective). No matter what they share in a particular case, there are always sociological “social sanctions”. As “positive” sanctions, for example, congratulations or goods, but as “negative” there are insults or threats. Often in the exchange theory only positive or ambivalent sanctions are treated, but include more general approaches and negative sanctions. In the distribution of conflict the “actors” face each other with conflicting interests. The one advantage is the other drawback: any one tried if it goes to positive sanctions, and spend as little as possible from the opponent to gain as much as possible. In economics, this strategy, which it called only for positive sanctions (such as goods for money in markets), is the “minimax principle”. And also, if people have antagonistic relations and negative social sanctions (for example acts of violence against violence, such as in war) taken into account, the exchange ends here trying to minimize its losses and maximize the opponent. Considering the criticism, critical is pointed out that this is based on Homans and Blau, Exchange Theory as a variant or mutation of the behaviorism. It had become a rational choice model, and this methodological simplification was achieved at a price, as compared to classical and other approaches in sociology would be neglected by extra-economic motivations, norms and institutions and their history in general.
Durkheim or Mauss expected to behave in exchange for all social collectives (community, systemic view). Controlled by the exchange, the consideration to the group received the actors (mostly positive) from each other sanction. The players share a common interest in the welfare of the collective, which is the individual’s self-interest. Each exchange includes the end and always a compromise in favor of the collective, even as a loyal member of a community and even with regard to his own advantage. The Collective is always with a person, which is reflected in valid rituals (for example the handshake) or norms (such as the Commercial Law) that express stability. Because of that, all exchange behavior is also spoken of as “amphibole” exchange. The theorist Clausen considers one of some forms of exchange that, in addition to the nature of man involves him into it with acting. Here, the parties conduct an exchange so that the survival of the human species will be encouraged to nature and other species. So it is not only a sociological but also the anthropological institution. This refers in particular to reproduction, child care and fighting prowess. The most common example is the dyad between infant and caregiver time (usually, but not necessarily the mother), is expected to result that in the both the exchange is biologically supported and the happier they are, the better it is for others.