norm of reciprocity(redirected from Reciprocity trap)
norm of reciprocitythe expectation that exists in many simple societies and also among kin and among friends in modern societies, that gifts or services must ultimately be reciprocated. Such exchanges are not strictly utilitarian and serve wider social functions and must be distinguished from more purely economically oriented exchange. See also GIFT EXCHANGE; compare EXCHANGE THEORY.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000