Social relation

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A social relation, social interaction or social life' in social science is any relationship between two or more individuals. Social relations derived from individual agency form the basis of social structure and the basic object for analysis by social scientists.


  • I think that no forms of social interaction—including religion, love, crime, and fertility choice—are immune from the power of economic reasoning.
  • I mean this report to serve as a sort of handbook detailing one sociological perspective from which social life can be studied, especially the kind of social life that is organised within the physical confines of a building or plant. A set of features will be described which together form a framework that can be applied to any concrete social establishment, be it domestic, industrial, or commercial.
    • Erving Goffman (1959), The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor. Preface
  • The relationship of agency is one of the oldest and commonest codified codes of social interaction. We will say that an agency relationship has arisen between two (or more) parties when one, designated as the agent, acts for the other, designated the principal, in a particular domain of decision problems. Examples of agency are universal.
    • Stephen A. Ross "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal's Problem," Amer. Econom. Rev., 63 (1973), 134-139; As cited in Eisenhardt (1985, 136)
  • The techniques of artificial intelligence are to the mind what bureaucracy is to human social interaction.
    • Terry Winograd, "Thinking Machines: Can there be? Are we?", in The Boundaries of Humanity: Humans, Animals, Machines (1991), ed. James J. Sheehan and Morton Sosna, p. 213

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