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Restricted Access in Networks and Models of Power

Peter V. Marsden
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 88, No. 4 (Jan., 1983), pp. 686-717
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2779481
Page Count: 32
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Restricted Access in Networks and Models of Power
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Abstract

This paper modifies the model of purposive action proposed by Coleman to encompass circumstances in which actors have imperfect access to one another. An access network indicating the available channels for exchange is introduced; it creates discrepancies in the number of alternative exchange relationships available to different actors. The connection of two ideas-Emerson's notion that dependency of one actor on another is inversely related to the first actor's number of alternative exchange relationships and Coleman's conception of dependency in terms of the control of one actor's interests by another-permits the introduction of what is termed "price-making behavior." This allows actors favorably situated in the access network to inflate the exchange value of their resources in transactions wi peripheral actors. Effects of the modifications are investigated by means of artificial data; the effects include shifts in the equilibrium distribution of power among actors, in the levels of resource transfer among actors in a given time period, in the outcomes of events, and in the interest satisfaction of actors.

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