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ERIC Number: ED306612
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Handicapping Social Exchange Theory.
Mishler, Barbara
The economic theory of social exchange has some serious shortcomings when applied to minorities--especially the disabled. First, it assumes dyads comprise the basic unit where exchange occurs and that rewards and costs must occur at that level. Second, the model standardizes the experience of white, Western European and American males. The model has a built-in justification for exploitation of relationships just as the capitalistic economy that inspired the model justifies exploitation of individuals on the fiction that all people start out equal; therefore any advantage one can gain over the other is legitimate. As a minority without physical, social, or political power, the disabled are at a distinct disadvantage in a competitive society. The general assumption is that handicapped persons are only marginally capable of competing successfully in a capitalistic economy and are therefore only marginally capable of competing socially. The ideology expressed through social-exchange theory is that the disabled are different, and different always means inferior. Disabled people should instead try to see their social relationships in a group-centered model rather than in the strictly dyadic, competitive exchange model. This communal model has three advantages: (1) it allows the disabled person to contribute something to the whole system; (2) the services and support that the disabled person needs do not fall all on one person; and (3) the communal reality becomes the strongest element in all of the relationships within the group. (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A