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Social Exchange Theory

Core Assumptions Made Within The Exchange Framework, Major Contemporary Concepts


The Social Exchange Framework was formally advanced in the late 1950s and early 1960s in the work of the sociologists George Homans (1961) and Peter Blau (1964) and the work of social psychologists John Thibaut and Harold Kelley (1959). Over the years, several exchange perspectives, rather than one distinct exchange theory, have evolved. The exchange framework is built upon the combination of the central tenets of behaviorism and elementary economics where human behavior is envisaged as a function of its payoff. The framework is primarily concerned with the factors that mediate the formation, maintenance, and breakdown of exchange relationships and the dynamics within them.


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