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12 J. Conflict Resol. 1 (1968)

handle is hein.journals/jcfltr12 and id is 1 raw text is: 









France and other countries:

a study of international interaction1



THEODORE CAPLOW and KURT FINSTERBUSCH
Departments of Sociology, Columbia University and University of Wisconsin


Introduction
  The  purpose of this paper is to describe
a collectivity whose members   are nations,
in much   the  same  way   that we  might
describe  a primary   group  composed   of
individuals. The   object is to  point  up
similarities between individual and  inter-
national interaction that have hitherto gone
unnoticed.  To   illustrate the method  of
analyzing a set of nations in this way, we
selected France  as  our principal subject
and  looked  for her  principal interaction
partners.2 It was immediately apparent that
the membership   of the set would  vary to
some  extent depending  upon  the  type of
interaction. The  data  in this paper  are
based on  four distinct types of interaction:
exchange  of university students, trade in
visible commodities,  exchange  of printed
matter through  the mails, and translations
of books.  Of course these do  not exhaust

  1 Prepared for the annual meeting of the
American  Sociological Association, San Fran-
cisco, August 1967. This study was made pos-
sible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation
of New  York, whose support and  encourage-
ment are gratefully acknowledged. The state-
ments made and the views expressed are solely
the  responsibility of the authors. Christine
Caplow  gave invaluable assistance in preparing
the statistical data.
  2 For a rapid orientation to the international
position of France, see Bj1l (1966).


the possibilities,3 but they cover a consider-
able range and  show that the relationships
established among  nations in a given type
of interaction may be quite different from
those in another type.
  One  of the authors has proposed a simple
analytical model, based on  four variables,
for the description of situations in which
two  or more actors, having some  common
goals and some  disparate goals, engage in
joint action (Caplow,  1964,  pp. 9-10  et
seq.). The  four variables are denoted  as
S, I, V, A. The  S variable refers to some
aspect of the relative strength of the parties,
the I variable refers to the degree of their
mutual influence within the relevant action
system, the V  variable refers to the voli-
tional component  of the situation, and the
A  variable  is a  measure  of  their joint
achievement.  When this   scheme   is used
with reference to paired relationships in an
informally organized group,  the four vari-
ables are  called status, involvement, va-
lence, and activity. They may be visualized
as dimensions of an interaction matrix where
status, as  usual, refers to  the  relative
strength of the parties; involvement  mea-

  s Among the many  other types of interaction
that might be studied, the ones that particularly
suggest themselves are diplomatic representa-
tion, investment transactions, and exchange of
films.

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