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Transactionalism

Transactionalism is a philosophical approach "designed to correct the fragmentation of experience on whatever level it may occur" following the patterns of inquiry defined by philosopher John Dewey. In the nature of change, that which acts and that which is acted upon undergo a reciprocal relationship that is affected by the presence and influence of the other. This relationship involves an attempt to include a human being, a natural organism, as an integral (vs. separate, above, or outside of) component in any investigation and inquiry whose purpose is to expand a person's knowledge. The intention is not to discover what is already there but for a person to seek and interpret senses, objects, places, positions, or any aspect of transactions with one's self and environment (including material objects and other people) in terms of his or her own aims and desires in order to take into account the needs and desires of others. This involves experiencing – including inquiring into accurate facts – as a process creating a successful transaction and of becoming successful within a deliberate practice of transacting. Some argue transactionalism is a theory, rather than philosophical approach, as in a social exchange advanced by Fredrik Barth. It was initially criticized for paying insufficient attention to cultural constraints on individualism but was influential on later thought such as symbolic interactionism. See Barth (2004, 1966); Kapferer (1976) for more.