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Power Relations in Exchange Networks

Barry Markovsky, David Willer and Travis Patton
American Sociological Review
Vol. 53, No. 2 (Apr., 1988), pp. 220-236
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2095689
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Power Relations in Exchange Networks
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Abstract

Many theories address the problem of how a social structure affects the experiences and behaviors of its members. This paper offers a network-exchange theory to solve this problem. Previous research has shown that the nature and outcomes of negotiations among individual or corporate actors can be inferred from their network positions. The impact of this research has been limited because its theory does not enable the researcher to locate power positions in the networks. We offer a theory that is both consistent with all previously reported experimental research and is generalized to conditions not considered by other formulations. In addition to supporting derived hypotheses pertaining to network-based power, our experiments demonstrate, among other things, that certain unstable networks break down to form stable substructures and that some networks contain overlapping but autonomous domains of power and exchange.

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