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.