During the last fifteen years there has emerged in sociology and social psychology a distinct approach called social exchange theory. Four figures were largely responÂ sible: George Homans. John Thibaut. Harold Kelley, and Peter Blau. Homans in "Social behavior as exchange" ( 1 958) made a conscious effort to identify and adÂ vance this point of view. In 1961. he amplified his argument in Social Behavior: Its Elementary Forms, which has now been revised ( 1974). Also in the late 1950s Thibaut & Kelley were constructing their compact conceptual scheme in The Social Psychology of Groups ( 1 959). While different in important ways, their work conÂ verged with Homans's, strengthening the general exchange approach. When Blau's Exchange and Power ( l 964a) appeared, the exchange approach was assured a future in the field. The differences between these three major works were as important in launching the exchange approach as were their similarities. While Blau gave more emphasis to technical economic analysis. Homans dwelled more upon the psychology of instrumental behavior. Yet in doing so, he drew upon a different brand of psyÂ chology than that represented by Thibaut & Kelley. In addition. they employed different strategies of
Annual Review of Sociology – Annual Reviews
Published: Aug 1, 1976
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