[Excerpt] This chapter examines bargaining as an influence process through which actors attempt to resolve a social conflict. Conflict occurs when two or more interdependent actors have incompatible preferences and perceive or anticipate resistance from each other (Blalock 1989; Kriesberg 1982). Bargaining is a basic form of goal-directed action that involves both intentions to influence and efforts by each actor to carry out these intentions. Tactics are verbal and/or nonverbal actions designed to maneuver oneself into a favorable position vis-a-vis another or to reach some accommodation. Our treatment of bargaining subsumes the concept of "negotiation" (see Morley and Stephenson 1977).
This chapter is organized around a conceptual framework that distinguishes basic types of bargaining contexts. We begin by introducing the framework and then present an overview of and analyze theoretical and empirical work on each type of bargaining context.