Gifts and Gift Exchange (PSY4131.01)

Ronald Cohen

Whether between two people, or among several in a gathering or a small group, people usually manage to coordinate their activity with others. The rules that underlie, create, and maintain orderliness and permit people to carry on their activities are usually out of immediate, conscious awareness, and their existence is recognized only when they are violated. We will examine social interaction and the rules which govern it. Among the perspectives developed for this purpose are interaction as gift exchange. Weʹll then examine exchange theory, originally developed by economists and anthropologists, and apply it to contemporary work on such topics as gift‐giving and revenge. We might also examine Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical approach to social interaction.

Prerequisites: Persons, Groups, and Crowds, at least one other course in Social Science, and permission of the instructor.
Credits: 4
M 10:10am - 12:00pm; Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, Four Credit, 4000, Psychology, Ronald Cohen.