Download Citation on ResearchGate | The Norm Of Reciprocity: A Preliminary Article in American Sociological Review 25(2) · April with 1, Reads. DOI: / Cite this publication. Alvin Ward GOULDNER. Abstract. American sociologist Alvin Gouldner () was the. first to propose the existence of a universal, generalized. norm of reciprocity. He argued that almost all. (). More than four decades ago, Gouldner clarified the concept and its dimensions and assumed the existence of a universal norm of reciprocity in a.

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And the results were positively and negatively skewed. Here,again, the adequacy of these conceptual distinctions will bedetermined ultimately by empirical test.

I am indebted to Howard S. A cogent illustration of this is provided by William F. To indicate its relevance in social relationships, mech- Buunk, Bram P.

Norm of Reciprocity – Gouldner

There is, however, a thirdanalytically distinct element which, if implicit in Malinowski,remained murky. Overall, exchange transgressions by the English—be endorse some form of the reciprocity norm, and that only they failures to give, accept, or reciprocate property— a few members were exempt from it—the very young, the immediately preceded nearly every intercultural assault at sick, and the old.

GitterMichael D. The tacit implication of the concept of reciprocity in functionaltheory can be illustrated in Merton’s analysis of the latentfunctions of the political machine in the United States. Accordingly, the aims of this paper are: The conclusion is clear: Reprinted, with a new introduction, New Brunswick: My concern with reciprocity developed initially from a criticalreexamination of current functional theory, especially the work ofRobert Merton and Talcott Parsons.


For example, can we findreciprocity norms which, in fact, require that returns be equivalentin value and are these empirically distinguishable from normsrequiring that returns be concretely alike? Journal of Personality retaliation. If the possible sexual exploitationof daughters by fathers gives rise, as Davis suggests, to mechanismsthat serve to prevent this, then it would seem that other types ofexploitation may also be controlled by other kinds of mechanisms.

The Humanities Press, nomr. Stephen Worchel and Groups. The principle of this norm serves as a powerful deterrent for violent or symbolic mistreatment in society.

Having cast the problem of reciprocity in these quantitativeterms, there emerges an important implication for the question ofsocial survivals. Another way to understand how the norm or reciprocity works is goudlner understand that the initial favour and the following repayment always unfolds in a public way. Not only reclprocity the norm of reciprocity play a stabilizing role inhuman relations in the absence of a well developed system ofspecific status duties, but it contributes to social stability evenwhen these are present and well established.

Conformity, saysMalinowski, is not sanctioned “by a mere psychological force, but bya definite social machinery. If assumptions about egoistic dispositionsare valid, however, a complementarity of rights and obligationsshould be exposed to a persistent strain, in which each party issomewhat more actively concerned to defend or extend his own rightsthan those of others.

Norm of reciprocity – Wikipedia

It is also notable that the systempainstakingly prevents the total elimination of outstandingobligations. Renewing the effort to clarify the diverse meanings 11960, we turn to Malinowski’s seminal contribution.


As Westermarck states, “To requite a benefit, or tobe grateful to him who bestows it, is probably everywhere, at leastunder certain circumstances, regarded as a duty.

Contrary to some cultural relativists it can gouldnwr hypothesized thata norm of reciprocity is universal. Given the often vague use of theterm “right,” it is quite possible that this proposition, in oneaspect, is only an expansion of some definition of the concept”right.

Norm of reciprocity

However, if you reject it, then the money will return to the company for future reward considerations. The demonstration that A is functional for B helps toaccount for A’s own persistence and stability only on two relatedassumptions: Nonetheless, even in bureaucracies in this country such tendenciesare endemic, albeit less legitimate and overt.

Social Organization and Kinship System of a Tribe in theInterior of New Guinea,” Memoirs of the American AnthropologicalAssociation8, ; among other matters of relevance to theanalysis of reciprocity, Thurnwald’s discussion here p. Participants who completed an initial self-control task that reduced the capacity for self-control used more curse words and were more willing to take ethical risks than participants who completed a neutral task.

Equivalence may have at least two forms, the sociological andpsychodynamic significance of which are apt to be quite distinct.