QUESTION; what are the differences between general and balanced reciprocity. How do both play a part in society?
When talking about reciprocity as an anthropological mode of exchange it is necessary to divide reciprocity into three subcategories. These subcategories are generalized reciprocity, balanced reciprocity, and finally negative reciprocity. In this paper I will be discussing the differences between general reciprocity and balanced reciprocity. As well as the role they play in today’s society.
General reciprocity is defined as an exchange where a person gives a good or a service to someone else, but does not receive anything back at that time. The expectation is that, if and when the recipient has something, that person will give goods or services back to the original giver. With no set date or time of repayment. Along with this, often times there are no discussions about what the value or return must be for the exchange. This means that the time and value of repayment is left to the recipient to decide. Often times this act is referred to as gift giving and paying it forward. This style of reciprocity strongly relies on trust and faith. In society this form of reciprocity has been widely use to gain good standing within a social community, building trust and friendship within. Sometimes politically driven general Reciprocity can be used to gain positive public relations in order to accomplish a goal within the community, such as leadership or other high standing position within a society.
Balanced or symmetrical reciprocity is described as the exchange of services or goods with the expectation of a fair and tangible return - at a specified amount, time, and place. As with generalized reciprocity, in balanced reciprocity the original giver must also hold a certain level of trust with the recipient, that the recipient will repay the original giver at the specified time with an adequate payment. However unlike generalized reciprocity which are often...
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