Justice and Power

An Exchange Analysis
  • Karen S. Cook
  • Karen A. Hegtvedt
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


There is a curious omission of the topic “power” in much of the research on equity and distributive justice. Homans (1976), in his commentary on the 1976 Berkowitz and Walster volume, Equity Theory: Toward a General Theory of Social Interaction, writes: “the authors of these papers have little to say about the relationship between equity and power” (p. 242). More recently, Greenberg and Cohen (1982) make the same judgment concerning a different set of articles, concluding “the structure of power among individuals in the situation has received less explicit attention” (p. 449). They further argue that an analysis of power “seems crucial for an understanding of how normative constraints are expressed in overt action” (p. 449). If an investigation of the structure of power is essential for understanding justice behavior on the part of individuals, it is even more critical when the level of analysis shifts from interpersonal relations to intergroup relations.


Powerful Actor Distributive Justice Social Exchange Exchange Network Equity Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen S. Cook
    • 1
  • Karen A. Hegtvedt
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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