1st Edition

Authority and Power in Social Interaction Methods and Analysis

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    160 Pages
    by Routledge

    Authority and Power in Social Interaction explores methods of analyzing authority and power in the minutiae of interaction. Drawing on the expertise of a diverse international team of organizational communication and language and social interaction scholars, this book suggests reverting the perspective that notions of authority and power constrain human activity, to determine how people (re)create them through conversation and other joint action.

    Confronting several perspectives within each chapter, the book offers a broad range of approaches to each theme: how and when to bring "context" into the analysis, formal authority, institutions, bodies and materiality, immateriality, and third parties. A core belief of this volume is that authority and power are not looming over human activity; rather, we weave together the constraints that we mutually impose on each other. Observing the details of how this joint process takes place may at once better account for how authority and power emerge and impact our actions, and provide guidelines on how to resist them.

    This book will be an important reference for students and scholars in language and social interaction, organizational communication, as well as those interested in an alternative take on issues of authority and power. It will also find resonance among those interested in managements studies, public administration and other disciplines interested in situations where authority is a crucial issue.

    Introduction: In search for the specific unfolding of authority and power

    Nicolas Bencherki, François Cooren and Frédérik Matte

    Chapter One: The authority of the "broader context": What's not in the interaction?

    Mariaelena Bartesaghi, Oren Livio and Frédérik Matte

    Chapter Two: The Varieties of (More or Less) Formal Authority

    Alena L. Vasilyeva, Jessica Robles, Jean Saludadez, Christian Schwägerl and Theresa Castor

    Chapter Three: How institutional authority and routine exertions of power can be mobilized, negotiated and challenged

    Helle Kryger Aggerholm, Birte Asmuß, Geneviève Boivin, Richard Buttny and Klaus Krippendorff

    Chapter Four: Bodies, faces, physical spaces and the materializations of authority

    Nicolas Bencherki, Alaric Bourgoin, Huey-Rong Chen, François Cooren, Vincent Denault and Pierrich Plusquellec

    Chapter Five: God, love and the apparently immaterial sources of authority

    Bertrand Fauré, Thomas Martine, Trudy Milburn and Katherine R. Peters

    Chapter Six: De-Centering the Analysis: The Authority of Spectators, Journalists and Others

    Chantal Benoit-Barné, Sky Marsen, Nan Wang and Yue Yang


    Nicolas Bencherki is an associate professor of organizational communication at TÉLUQ Montréal. He holds a dual PhD in communication from the Université de Montréal and in sociology of action from Sciences Po Paris. His research focuses on the intersecting roles of organizational communication and materiality in the interactional constitution of membership, strategy and other conventional organizational issues in the setting of non-profit and community-based organizations, with a special interest for the concept of property. His work has been published, among others, in Organization Studies, Human Relations, Management Communication Quarterly, and the Journal of Communication.

    Frederik Matte is an assistant professor of communication at University of Ottawa, Canada. He holds a PhD in communication from Université de Montréal. He studies tensions in the extreme and emergency situations faced by international non-governmental organizations (INGOs). He is interested in patient caring relationships, organizational change, intercultural settings and multi-lingual environments as well as ethical issues. He has published in the Journal of Communication, Communication Monographs, Discourse and Communication, and Pragmatics & Society.

    François Cooren, Ph.D., is a professor at the Université de Montréal, Canada. His research focuses on organizational communication, language and social interaction, as well as communication theory. He is the author of four books: The Organizing Property of Communication (2000), Action and Agency in Dialogue: Passion, Incarnation, and Ventriloquism (2010), Organizational Discourse: Communication and Constitution (2015), as well as The Work of Communication: Relational Perspectives on Working and Organizing in Contemporary Capitalism (2017, co-authored with Tim Kuhn and Karen Ashcraft). He also edited several volumes published by Oxford University Press, Routledge, John Benjamins and Lawrence Erlbaum, and is the author of more than 60 articles, published in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as more than 40 book chapters. In 2010-2011, he was the president of the International Communication Association (ICA) and was elected fellow of this association in 2013. He is also the current president of the International Association for Dialogue Analysis (IADA, 2012-2015), as well as a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association.