ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INTERACTIONS MEDIATED THROUGH EDUCATION.

Author:Boaja, Dan Marin
Position::Report
 
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  1. Introduction

    Man is a biological product, but also a social product, a result of his living environment. In fact, the relationship between man and his environment is an ambivalent one, one that manifests itself in both directions, i.e. from the environment to the individual and from the individual to the environment. Therefore, the man himself is a forefront consumer of the environment in which he lives and works. Within the environment he interacts with other individuals with similar or conflictual, contradictory interests.

    Actual and potential actions of an individual are guided by the need to meet both his own interests and favorable or unfavorable actions of others. Interactions between people manifest themselves most visibly in the form of goods and services transactions on the market or on the non-market field. However, the interactions associated with pursuing and achieving the rights and freedoms of everyone are more subtle and more difficult to perceive, but with a significantly higher social connotation. The individual rights and liberties must be respected, but also the individual himself must respect those of others. Education plays a special role in this regard.

    It goes without saying that from an economic perspective the approach on education has left an emphasized utilitarian mark. Efforts are currently being made for exceeding these (Sen, 1970, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000/2004). Assuming that any human activity is, in the final analysis, a social activity, scientific literature in our country considers that social interactions occur as mutual or resultant actions of interference of the actions started by individuals, groups or communities that influence the manifestation terms and obtained performances (Zamfir and Vlasceanu, 1999).

    Economic analysis starts generally on the premise that in order to satisfy certain well-defined interests, individuals behave rationally--the premise is considered fundamental for the economic analysis of consumer's choice, but it is used extensively in studies regarding political science. The economic, neoclassical theory perceive the act of choosing as determined by rationality --of course there are differences in interpretation from one author to another on the definition of rationality, but a common pattern of the rational human is generally accepted, frequently designated as the "homo economicus." The rationality hypothesis is also adopted by the economic analysis of education, even though the applicability of the presumption that rational self-interest is a fundamental postulate for purely positive addressing the entire human behavior is still questionable.

    People do not continuously maximize because some of their decisions are irrational, in one sense or another, or because they do not fall within what is perceived as the best, because of the normative-affective criteria on which there are based his options, intellectual capacities and limited available information resources. There are situations when normative-affective factors from which some choices are derived create the context in which human action takes place and not vice versa. In order for elections to be rational it is necessary to fight the normative-affective dominant trend. This requires a pre-investment of resources to support rationality, considering that, once established, it is not self-perpetuating.

  2. The Education within the System of Interactions between the Individual and His Social Environment

    There is a certain kind of effect generated by education in the non-market field that can be highlighted through an economic approach of the theory of social interactions (Becker, 1976/1997). In order to analyze the interactions between the behaviors of certain individuals and characteristics of other individuals dedicated tools of economic theory are used. An important concept of the analysis is "full social income," which means the full amount of personal income (monetary or pecuniary gains of the individual plus time value) with the value in money of the relevant characteristics of others. Gary S. Becker calls them "the social environment" of the considered individual. It is used the economic approach on education, the term "full social income" instead of the term "social income," said within the mentioned author's analyses in order to eliminate possible confusion with "social income" in the theory of externalities. For an individual, the monetary value of his social environment is not constructed as a positive or negative externality, because it enters the utility function in its maximization calculation. The type of social environment and its quality is the precondition for achieving desired efficiency of social interactions, besides being a necessity for all individuals as members of groups, communities and society--discussions about the factors considered determinant for the needs that have existed before the consumer's demand theory was made by Arthur Jevons, Alfred Marshall and Carl Menger. For example, Jeremy Bentham describes 15 main types of pleasures and sufferings, considering that all the others are combinations of these.

    The American psychologist Abraham H. Maslow (1954, 1997, 1968) disseminated several types of human...

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