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The formation of cliques in collectivities as a consequence of initial distributions of dimensions of wealth Foddy, William Henry

Abstract

Past approaches to the understanding of the occurrence of exchange Interactions and the generation of sentiments of social approval and social disapproval within collectivities are reviewed and a new theory is formulated. The new theory focuses on initial, unequal distributions of dimensions of wealth within the collectivities . On the basis of knowledge about the differences between the members' net wealth levels, four hypotheses regarding the patterns of exchange interactions in the collectivities are derived for testing. These hypotheses concern: ( i ) the emergence, and order of emergence, of cliques within the collectivities, and ( i i ) the generation of sentiments of approval between fellow clique members and sentiments of disapproval between the members of the different cliques in each collectivity. An experimental paradigm is then described and the results of actual, laboratory experiments presented. It is concluded that all four hypotheses are supported by the data. Finally, the theory is placed within the wider context of the sociology of social stratification in general.

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