Homans George(1910-89) US sociologist who, in ‘Bringing Men Back In’ (1964), his Presidential Address to the American Sociological Association, argued that social phenomena can only be explained by reference to the motivations of individual persons. In The Human Group (1950), he had earlier argued that, ‘All grander sociologies must be true to the sociology of the group.’ In Social Behaviour: Its Elementary Forms (1961), he stated that ‘he had come to believe that the empirical propositions’ in the former work could ‘most easily be explained by two bodies of empirical general propositions already in existence: behavioral psychology and elementary economics’. Along with his fellow American, Peter BLAU, Homans is regarded as one of the main exponents of EXCHANGE THEORY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000