Exchange-Rational Choice and Feminist Theory – Theoretical Approaches of Social Structure (SOC)

by Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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    00:00 Rational Choice Theory is another one.

    00:03 And with this one it’s which is also known as Rational Action Theory.

    00:08 The basic premise that the aggregate social behavior results from the behavior of individuals.

    00:13 Each of whom is making their own decisions.

    00:15 So everyday we’re forced to make choices. And our individual choices collectively will shape the overall social experiment.

    00:24 So individual has preferences among the available choices that allow them to state which options they prefer.

    00:30 Simple things like, which clothes you decide to wear. What car you’re going to drive? the school where you’re going to attend to, the group of individuals you want to interact with.

    00:38 Collectively that ends up shaping our society.

    00:43 Here’s some processes that we need to consider for Rational Choice Theory.

    00:47 So in the Complete sense we have A is better than B.

    00:52 And the Transistive portion we have A is better than C.

    00:57 So A is better than B, B is better than C. So as result A will be better than C.

    01:01 Now, in Rational Choice Theory, when we’re looking at a Concept of Interdependence or Irrelevant Alternatives, this is the assumption that if a new option becomes available so option X, that it will not change the order that we’ve already laid out in rational choice.

    01:19 Okay so all of a sudden if a new comes in it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be better than the A versus… A is better than B is better than C.

    01:28 And now we all of a sudden have X, that doesn’t mean that C is now better than A.

    01:35 It fits within our previously existing models.

    01:38 So in Rational Choice Theory, the Exchange Rational choice says, that if X is introduce it doesn’t change the previously stated that A is better B is better than C. that maintains. 'Cause if you look at our last box here we will be introduced X into the box. It still hasn’t change the fact that A is still better B. And B is still better than C, okay? Individuals will choose the action or outcome that provide the maximum net benefits.

    02:06 So they’re going to choose on an individual basis what they feel will give them the best win, okay.

    02:12 And society is therefore a construct of a sum of these individuals’ choices.

    02:16 And everybody’s choices make up our society.

    02:18 And if you’re choosing the best choice for you that what’s going to shape our society.

    02:22 Okay now with Exchange Choice Theory we have that social change and stability is a process of negotiated exchanges between parties.

    02:32 So social exchanges theory states that the human relationships are formed by the use of a subjective cost-benefit analysis and the comparison of alternatives.

    02:39 So it’s a fancy way of using, what are my option here? And I’m going to figure out the cost and benefits of each and make my choice.

    02:49 And in that comparison, we’re using choice to shape what’s around us.

    02:56 So Social Exchange models assume that rewards and costs drive relationship decisions.

    03:02 So cost are the elements of life. They have negative value to a person.

    03:06 For example, money, time and effort. And the rewards are the elements of a relationship that have positive values. So acceptance, support and affection.

    03:16 So you take those things together and you do the math. And that’s how you decide, What is the ideal choice in this Exchange Choice model? So worth over outcome equals, what are the rewards minus the cost.

    03:33 And that will allow us to understand, what is the worth of this exchange? What is the outcome here? And you always want to choose when the worth is high.

    03:41 And the last one we’ll going to cover here in terms of theoretical approaches to examine socialism is the Feminist Theory.

    03:51 So this began in the 70’s and it examines the inequality against women in various areas including social class, politics and education.

    03:59 So aspects that shape this theory include gender differences.

    04:03 and we’ve covered a lot of this kind of concepts in some of the other modules.

    04:07 And so we going to innervate this together here.

    04:10 These are socially created norms and expectations that are passed down.

    04:13 And this have been around for so long because they continues to propagate.

    04:17 The quality associated with femininity differ from that from masculinity.

    04:21 And you’ve assigned different gender roles. So that gender inequality includes things like unequal division of labor, right.

    04:30 So men tend to do a certain amount of work.

    04:35 Men tend to do… sorry. Women tend to do a different amount or work.

    04:38 and those are considered equal.

    04:40 There's task and roles within the family domain versus the public domain.

    04:44 So your job as a woman is this. And that’s where you belong versus in the public space you have a different role.

    04:53 So at home you might be powerful. And that you’re busy, and you’re doing work and you’re the mom.

    04:59 But outside the doors the man is the one who has the face as the face of the family.

    05:06 Gender Oppression and Structural Oppression.

    05:09 Now, Gender Oppression is when men have power and they use this to dominate, control or abuse woman.

    05:16 And the disparity in power may be link to earlier roles of men versus women in the workplace versus home.

    05:22 So a 100 years ago, 50 years ago, the way society was set up is completely different than it is today yet some still cling on to that. And so that disparity that we see has lot of times linked to this outdated sociological thinking.

    05:38 Women’s inequality is associated with capitalism, racism and patriarchy.

    05:43 So we’re saying that a lot of the drivers behind why this oppression is continuing is that in the world of capitalism, it’s still where money is mighty.

    05:53 And it’s all about the control and power.

    05:56 And a lot of the drivers that we talk about. And this tend to be dominated by men.

    05:59 And so they will like to maintain that. And so by using this oppression and racism They are able to maintain that sense of power.

    06:08 Collectively speaking we can see that there's a cultural change in society is shifting away from this but it still does exist.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Exchange-Rational Choice and Feminist Theory – Theoretical Approaches of Social Structure (SOC) by Tarry Ahuja, PhD is from the course Understanding Social Structure.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Rational choice theory
    2. Supply and demand
    3. Economics
    4. Functionalism
    5. Social interdependence
    1. People make decisions based on utilitarian factors and self-interest.
    2. People attempt to maximize rewards and minimize costs only when they have something valued in exchange.
    3. People attempt to minimize rewards and minimize costs.
    4. Interactions prevent an exchange of something valued.
    5. Human behaviors are always humanitarian.
    1. Sociologists should pay attention to the intersection of race, class, gender, and other aspects of social identity.
    2. Men and women uphold equal social statures.
    3. Gender never influences social patterns.
    4. Ethnicity influences social patterns.
    5. The hierarchical structures in society give complete equality to women and minorities.

    Author of lecture Exchange-Rational Choice and Feminist Theory – Theoretical Approaches of Social Structure (SOC)

     Tarry Ahuja, PhD

    Tarry Ahuja, PhD

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