Question

1. How do exchange theorists such as Blau or Homans differ in terms of their assumptions of the nature of exchange relationships? How are they similar? How might each explain the responses of Houstonians to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita? (Note:This is a three-part question.)

2. How do the assumptions of consensus theories differ from those of conflict theories? Then, contrast one conflict theory with one consensus theory to explain the presence of social stratification and inequality. (Note: This is a two-part question.)

3. The concept of "the self" and its linkage to "society" is of great importance to many "micro-interactionist" theorists. First, distinguish among symbolic interactionism, phenomenology or existential sociology, and dramaturgical sociology. Then, explain how the self and society are "constructed" according to the theories of Cooley, Mead, Blumer, Husserl, Schutz, Goffman, and Garfinkel.   (Note: this is a two-part question).

4. It can be argued that the allocation of theorists to such categories as Rational Choice or Exchange Theory, Consensus or Structural Functional Theory, or Symbolic Interaction, Dramaturgical Theory, Existential Theory is arbitrary. That is, the theorists could be placed in any or all of those theory groups. Select one theorist identified by your text or in
lectures as a rational choice or exchange theorist, one identified as a consensus or functionalist theorist, and one identified as a social definitionist theorist and suggest how they might be similar in their assumptions about social life and how they might be different in such assumptions.

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1. Peter Blau and George Homans perspectives have some similarities and differences in relation to their assumptions on how the nature of exchanges that happens in social interactions. The major difference between the two perspectives is that Homans believe that for sociologists to understand human behavior, they must start with the individual. To him social groups are creations of human beings and therefore the individual is the most important unit of analysis. On the other side Peter Blau posited that human interactions can only be effective when human interactions are analyzed from the individual person to the large context of the group. Blau introduced the issue of coercion whereby an individual behaves in a particular way in order to save a situation. For instance, a person can give what they have in order to avoid harm from others. An example can be an armed robber asking for money or cooperation from a victim. Blau also introduced the issue of using rewards in order to achieve...

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