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Family Matters No. 50 - June 1998

Changing Patterns of Social Exchanges

Issues in the literature
Andrew Burbidge

Abstract

In order to explore some of the major recent changes affecting family responsibilities, this paper provides an overview of key areas of literature on social exchanges between families and the state. The paper identifies four broad issues of importance to these social exchanges and provides an introduction to the debates in the literature on these themes. The first section focuses on the role of the state in its social exchanges with families. The second section examines the major areas where changes are taking place in the boundaries between families and the state. Section three discusses the impact on families and particular sub groups in society of these perceived trends in social exchange. In the final section, social capital is assessed as a means of increasing social exchanges.

In order to explore some of the major recent changes affecting family responsibilities, this paper provides an overview of key areas of literature on social exchanges between families and the state. The paper identifies four broad issues of importance to these social exchanges and provides an introduction to the debates in the literature on these themes. The first section focuses on the role of the state in its social exchanges with families. The second section examines the major areas where changes are taking place in the boundaries between families and the state. Section three discusses the impact on families and particular sub groups in society of these perceived trends in social exchange. In the final section, social capital is assessed as a means of increasing social exchanges.

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