““There is no duty more indispensable than that of returning a kindness,” says Cicero.” (Gouldner 161). What is reciprocity? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, reciprocity is “a situation or relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other, to allow each other to have the same rights.” What is reciprocity in a close relationship? Reciprocity in a close relationship is similar to just reciprocity in any nature but in a close relationship people give back the same kind of treatment they receive from someone else. It is similar to the golden rule, “treat others how you want to be treated.” We are known to repay favors, invites to events, gifts etc. Reciprocity has always been something my parents have told me make sure I stay on top of. They have always told me, “treat others how I want to be treated”, it is something to remember and live by because it is important if one of your friends or romantic partner remembers your birthday and gets you a gift or even as simple as remembering your birthday, it is a nice gesture to remember their birthday as well. I find that reciprocity important, if the situation presents itself.
The norm of reciprocity is very skewed and there are many different views on how we as people think the “right” way to perform reciprocity. It is known as giving and receiving in a similarly equal way. But what Alvin W. Gouldner says, that there is another extreme on the other end of reciprocity. There is one extreme of benefits being exchanged identically or equal. On the other hand, one person might not give anything to the other but in return wait for the benefits they think they deserve (164). But Gouldner says that t...
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...n any sort of relationship, family, friendship, and intimate relationships. Being able to repay a favor of kindness for what you have received it something very important, as well as being able to decipher between what limit to reciprocate. Not only on what level to reciprocate but to remember if it is deserved. Choosing this topic and wanting to analyze it really brought this subject to a whole new light about what reciprocity actually means. I continue to try and reciprocate feelings, material items and much more when I am dealt that card in my life. This paper pushed me to understand more about what I am doing, and why I am doing it. Not only that but to view others and see why they may feel the need to give less or more in situations they are in. Reciprocity is a very important part of a relationship and I find it even more important than when I started.
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