10.23.07 Tues - Outline 10/23/07 -Rational Choice Theory...

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Outline 10/23/07 -Rational Choice Theory -Homans: Elementary Social Forms -Principles of Rationality -Sociality Behavior as Exchange -Distributive Justice The Rational Self Human behavior is seen as a result of “rational decision makers in a world of scarcity”. Goods in society are scarce, competition for goods, and going to have to decide where to spend one’s resources. Individuals in this world view are seen as “rational profit maximizers” Calculating costs and benefits of action: “preference structures”: weigh the costs and the benefits of one thing that we value vs. the costs and the benefits of another thing that we value. Values established through supply and demand. EG high supply, low demand: price/value goes down. Low supply, high demand: price/value goes down. Predicting action by deducing preference **To what extent do you think that human behavior is “rational”? Examples: rational vs. non-rational behavior? **Where do preference structures come from? How fixed are they? Do they vary by society, by individuals, or by situation? Roots of Rational Choice Theory 19 th Century Utilitarianism: self-interested people pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain Anthropology: Theories of Gift-giving
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 314 taught by Professor Mische during the Fall '07 term at Rutgers.

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10.23.07 Tues - Outline 10/23/07 -Rational Choice Theory...

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