Memo 7 - Sarah Drumm Contemporary Sociological Theories...

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Sarah Drumm Contemporary Sociological Theories 10/25/07 Memo 7 Social exchange differs from economic exchange in what is being exchanged and the functions each performs. The functions of social exchanges are to form and foster bonds of friendship, and establish a power relationship. Economic exchange has a different function. Economic exchange is simply for profit maximization. Economic exchange is much more clear cut and instant than social exchange. There is an issue of trust that comes more into play with social exchange. The norm of reciprocity is the idea that if I give something, I will get something back. It’s important because if there isn’t a full reciprocity in the exchange one of us will feel taken advantage of. For example, if I’m constantly buying lunch for a friend and she never buys lunch for me, I’ll feel as if my generosity is being taken advantage of. Also the power dynamic in the relationship may change and because I’m constantly the provider of lunch, I hold
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Memo 7 - Sarah Drumm Contemporary Sociological Theories...

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