Contemporary articles citing Gouldner A (1960) Am Sociol Rev
life, reciprocity, behavior, development, recent, cultural, biological, second, concludes, understanding
- Moody, Michael. 2008. "Serial Reciprocity: a Preliminary Statement." Sociological Theory. 26:2 130-151.
- Serial reciprocity exists when people reciprocate for what they have received-for example, from a parent, a friend, a mentor, a stranger, a previous generation-by providing something to a third party, regardless of whether a return is also given to, or makes its way back to, the original giver. To understand serial reciprocity as reciprocity, this article delineates the general features of the serial type of reciprocity and outlines two general situations in which serial reciprocity provides a viable option-the only or the most appropriate option-for reciprocal return. It also argues for a more fundamental rethinking of reciprocity in general. A more cognitive and cultural perspective on reciprocity is proposed that focuses on the meaning of exchanges and treats reciprocity as a socially constructed element of a culturally available repertoire. This can better account for the existing serial type of reciprocity. The article concludes with suggestions for empirical research.
- Machalek, R & MW Martin. 2004. "Sociology and the Second Darwinian Revolution: a Metatheoretical Analysis." Sociological Theory. 22:3 455-476.
- Sociologists tend to eschew biological explanations of human social behavior. Accordingly, when evolutionary biologists began to apply neo-Darwinian theory to the study of human social behavior, the reactions of sociologists typically ranged from indifference to overt hostility. Since the mid-1960s, however, neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has stimulated a ``second Darwinian revolution'' in traditional social scientific conceptions of human nature and social behavior, even while most sociologists remain largely uninformed about neo-Darwinian theory and research. This article traces sociology's long-standing isolation from the life sciences, especially evolutionary biology, to divergence in the metatheoretical assumptions that typify conventional sociological thought versus contemporary evolutionary biology. We conclude with a discussion of the recent emergence of a nascent ``evolutionary sociology'' that integrates sociobiological reasoning with contemporary sociological thought.
- Michalski, JH. 2003. "Financial Altruism or Unilateral Resource Exchanges? - Toward a Pure Sociology of Welfare." Sociological Theory. 21:4 341-358.
- Questions concerning the essential nature of altruism, the existence of an altruistic personality, and the genetic, biosocial, and social psychological bases of altruistic behavior have dominated theory and research on the topic. The current paper reconceptualizes financial altruism sociologically as a form of unilateral resource exchanges, or welfare. The alternative definition employs Donald Black's (1979, 2000) analytic approach to describe and explain the behavior of welfare with its location and direction in social space. The paper offers several propositions that purport to explain variations in welfare by drawing upon cross-cultural research. In general, welfare flows in the direction of those who are less integrated and who have lower social status. In addition, welfare varies directly with intimacy, conventionality, and respectability. Finally, welfare varies inversely with relational distance, cultural distance, and group size. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of strengths and limitations of the general propositions advanced.
- Molm, LD. 2003. "Theoretical Comparisons of Forms of Exchange." Sociological Theory. 21:1 1-17.
- A recent program comparing negotiated and reciprocal forms of social exchange offers important implications for theory development. Results of these investigations show that the form of exchange studied-negotiated or reciprocal-affects many of the processes and assumptions underlying contemporary theories of exchange. Three such effects are discussed here. First, the form of exchange affects the causal mechanisms underlying power use and the relation between network structure and power. Second, whether exchange is negotiated or reciprocal affects the relative emphasis on learning or rational-choice models and the breadth of motivations assumed for ``self-interested'' actors, including reward maximization, loss avoidance, and reciprocity. Third, the form of exchange affects the salience of the cooperative and competitive `faces'' of exchange, influencing actors' subjective experiences with exchange. These results show the limitations of theories based on any single form of exchange and the need for greater understanding of the full range of exchange forms that characterize social life.
- Smith, TS & GT Stevens. 2002. "Hyperstructures and the Biology of Interpersonal Dependence: Rethinking Reciprocity and Altruism." Sociological Theory. 20:1 106-130.
- Fluctuations in endogenous opioid activity in the brain, controlled under ordinary conditions by attachment, are capable of producing patterns of dependence in social behavior resembling those appearing in substance abusers. Withdrawal symptoms arising in relation to these fluctuations. Short of producing dependence, ordinarily fuel everyday social interaction. and interaction then serves to modulate opioid activity within a range associated with comfort. Comfort-constraints in this sense operate in all settings of social interaction, part of an innate caregiving mechanism conserved by evolution in human behavior. In this paper we present a formal model of the neurosociological mechanism embodying these comfort constraints. Conceptualized as a hyperstructure, the mechanism grounds thinking about social interaction in recent biological discoveries, about the brain. and enables sociologists to study how activity in core brain systems constrains deep patterns in social life, including the human tendencies to altruism and reciprocity. Using computational methods, we undertake Simulations to study the mechanism, deriving implications about moral behavior. The theory of the hyperstructure leads to new conclusions about reciprocity and altruism, and bears upon sociological understanding of related subjects such as justice and social comparison.
- Woolcock, M. 1998. "Social Capital and Economic Development: Toward a Theoretical Synthesis and Policy Framework." Theory and Society. 27:2 151-208.
- Chan, Cheris. 2009. "Creating a Market in the Presence of Cultural Resistance: the Case of Life Insurance in China." Theory and Society. 38:3 271-305.
- This article brings together two different conceptions of culture-a shared meaning system on one hand and a repertoire of strategies on the other-to understand the emergence of a market. Based on ethnographic data, it examines how a Chinese life insurance market is emerging in the presence of incompatible shared values and ideas acting as cultural barriers, and how these cultural barriers shape the formation of the market. The findings reveal a burgeoning Chinese life insurance market despite local cultural logics incompatible with the profit-oriented institutional logic of life insurance. This Chinese market, however, has developed along a different trajectory from what might be expected. It first emerged as a money management, rather than a risk management, market. I argue that the very cultural barriers that compose the local resistance to a new economic practice also necessitate the mobilization of the cultural tool-kit to circumvent this resistance. These dual processes, shared ideas composing the resistance and the cultural tool-kit circumventing the resistance, shape the trajectory and characteristics of an emergent market. I propose a theoretical model specifying the mechanisms through which the two forms of culture interplay to influence the development of the life insurance. I apply this model to extend Zelizer's (1979) insights and discuss how culture matters in forging a new market in the global diffusion of capitalism.