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RECIPROCITY AND RISK Intro This lecture is titled "Reciprocity & Risk," but an alternative title might be "The ecology of sharing" Topical outline: 1) What are "reciprocity" and "risk"? (Definition of the key concepts) 2) What ecological conditions favor reciprocal sharing? 3) What social conditions are required to make sharing persist? The Key Concepts What is Reciprocity? Reciprocity can be defined broadly as the voluntary exchange of goods, services, or information between 2 or more individuals or groups, such that A gives to B and B gives to A (though not necessarily the same thing, or in equal amounts) This so broad as to encompass most forms of social interaction, so let's narrow our focus down to phenomenon of delayed reciprocity: voluntary exchanges of the sort just defined that have a significant time lag Delayed reciprocity is captured in simple expression "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours," but of course ranges over much more complex interactions, such as military alliances, ceremonial feast exchanges, various aspects of marriage, etc.
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