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Good NeighborsThe Democracy of Everyday Life in America$
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Nancy L. Rosenblum

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169439

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169439.001.0001

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Reciprocity among “Decent Folk”

Reciprocity among “Decent Folk”

Chapter:
(p.71) 3 Reciprocity among “Decent Folk”
Source:
Good Neighbors
Author(s):

Nancy L. Rosenblum

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691169439.003.0004

This chapter talks about the principal defining characteristic of the democracy of everyday life: rough parity in give and take among neighbors. Reciprocity among “decent folk” fleshes out this facet of the democracy of everyday life, for “decent folk” carries a distinctive understanding of equality for the purposes of living side by side. Moreover, reciprocity cannot be reduced to the idea of mutual advantage because it has a fundamentally social and moral aspect: the shared project of a well ordered society. Historically and in some parts of the world today, reciprocity does shape many social interactions. But social scientists characterize it as the prelude to more complex forms of coordination and developed institutions.

Keywords:   reciprocity, decent folk, everyday life, democracy, mutual advantage, ordered society, social interactions

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