Fiske (1992) suggests that there are four elementary forms of sociality: (1) communal sharing, (2) authority ranking, (3) equality matching, (4) market pricing principle. This theoretical framework perceives people as fundamentally social, and people in all cultures seem to relate in one of the four ways, depending on the context of the relationship.
Communal SharingCommunal sharing is a group structure, where people treat all members of a category as equivalent. In many societies, people share material things, especially among family members. This sort of sharing is sometimes referred to as generalized reciprocity. In short, people give away resources which they do for the benefit of the group. It is something that transcend the individual members, and it strengthens the group as a whole. What you give to the group is not necessarily something that you demand from the group, and it can be seen as a contribute to something greater than oneself, and the saying: "What's mine is yours" is nicely covering the sharing principle. Work in a communal sharing group is seen as a collective responsibility, and therefore everyone does what he/she can, and the work output is seen as common goods. This kind of group will obviously perceive themselves as belonging to an ethnic identity because of the strong identification with the group. The group seeks consensus and conformity, and the self is defined in terms of heritage and common characteristics such as ethnicity. The motive of being in this group is intimacy and caring, and therefore, kindness, altruism, and selfless generosity are seen as fundamental values. Feelings of stigmatization and isolation will not be tolerated, and support groups will help prevent this from happening. This communal sharing principle is already seen at the age of infancy.
Authority RankingAuthority ranking is where different people have different ranks. People attend to their positions in a linear hierarchy. There is a distinction between superior and inferior status of members of the group. The superior ones will contribute with goods to the group so that they demonstrate their nobility. Working in this kind of group implies that superiors control the work of their inferiors, and therefore they rarely do the work themselves. Since the superiors control the work, they will feel the ownership of the work output. Because of the superior status, they will buy prestigious items to demonstrate their higher ranking status. Priority is given to superiors often according to age and seniority. Subordinates will display loyalty (obedience) and strive to pleasure their superiors. The self is defined and determined by social rank, and people will be motivated to increase their own rank. This type of ranking is typically seen by the age of three.
Equality MatchingEquality matching is where people keep track of the imbalances among them, and therefore there is a reciprocity in the group which means that you expect getting the same amount from the group, as you gave to the group. Everyone will get identical shares, regardless of the individual needs. Individuals will feel compliance to return favours in order to keep things balanced, and each individual of the group has equal status. The moral of the group is based on fairness and justification, and the tit-for-tat method is a way of maintaining fairness in the group. A problem with this fairness is the procedures that people use for matching fairness. At the age of four, this type of relationship is often established.
Market Pricing PrincipleMarket pricing principle is a group structure influenced by market pricing, and a member of the group gets what he/she invests in the group according to markets prices. Therefore one might get more than one invested because of beneficial market pricing and vice versa. Marketing considerations are made so that the investment is considered reasonable. Time spent on work is considered in accordance with efficiency. Therefore, these groups are seen in organisations and work communities. The self is seen in terms of its economic role in the company, and great achievements are the motivation of the group. Every aspect is seen in the light of utilitarian principles, and the greatest goods for the greatest number of people is the ideal principle. People seem to externalize this kind of group behaviour at the age of 9.