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.

chapter |17 pages


In Search for the Specific Unfolding of Authority and Power
ByNicolas Bencherki, François Cooren, Frédérik Matte

chapter 1|19 pages

The Authority of the “Broader Context”

What’s Not in the Interaction?
ByMariaelena Bartesaghi, Oren Livio, Frédérik Matte

chapter 2|19 pages

The Varieties of (More or Less) Formal Authority

ByAlena L. Vasilyeva, Jessica S. Robles, Jean A. Saludadez, Christian Schwägerl, Theresa Castor

chapter 3|21 pages

How Institutional Authority and Routine Exertions of Power Can Be Mobilized, Negotiated, and Challenged

ByHelle Kryger Aggerholm, Birte Asmuß, Geneviève Boivin, Richard Buttny, Klaus Krippendorff

chapter 4|22 pages

Bodies, Faces, Physical Spaces and the Materializations of Authority

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

chapter 5|18 pages

God, Love, and the Apparently Immaterial Sources of Authority

ByBertrand Fauré, Thomas Martine, Trudy Milburn, Katherine R. Peters

chapter 6|21 pages

Decentering the Analysis

The Authority of Spectators, Journalists and Others
ByChantal Benoit-Barné, Sky Marsen, Nan Wang, Yue Yang