Corruption as a Cultural and Social Process
DOI link for Corruption as a Cultural and Social Process
Corruption as a Cultural and Social Process book
Chapter 2 studies corruption as a social process. In this social process, corruption is part of a series of widespread and, in some sense, necessary practices in all societies: the exchange of favors among persons in order to strengthen social bonds and relationships. The exchange of favors happens all the time, in the family sphere, in the sphere of close and known friends, whose base is the reciprocity that generates stable and constant bonds between people. Reciprocity is a universal phenomenon where the exchange of favors crosses borders and becomes indispensable for people to succeed in achieving their own social objectives. In this way, those who have known contacts can solve their problems, with all kinds of authorities—governmental or private—through such contacts. In some societies, these exchanges become a valuable and indispensable mechanism to resolve personal and organizational problems. They become an informal but effective path to obtain services and products, creating a real and nevertheless subterranean avenue that explains the interrelationship between persons and persons and authorities. These practices of exchange are quite rich and effective with their own informal rules, their communication logics, their rules of etiquette, and even their particular ethics schemes. In this chapter we study practices such as the guanxi of China, the blat of Russia, and the protekzia of Israel. In addition, two Latin American practices are studied: the jeitinho of Brazil and the palanca of Mexico. When these practices are linked with corruption, their study opens a perspective that allows a better understanding of the challenges and limitations of anticorruption efforts.