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Negotiating Power in Workplace Dispute Mediation: a Dialogical Perspective

Additional information

van Bijnen E.
Report in scientific conference
In this qualitative study, the relation between power dynamics and discourse in labor dispute mediation dialogues is examined. Adopting Gramsci’s (1971) concept of hegemony and Foucault′s notion that power is not fixed in dialogues, but instead constantly negotiated by participants (i.e. Foucault 1980; 1995), the idea is presented that power asymmetries are (re-)negotiated when parties enter into dispute mediation. The power dynamics shift in the new institutional setting when mediators subordinate dominant parties and try to level out the initial power imbalance between the parties by enforcing their own formalized power as procedural guides. Mediators do so using specific interventions that correlate with the four devices Fairclough (1989, p. 135-137) states can be used by dominant participants to control weaker parties in dialogues: interruption, enforcing explicitness, topic control, and formulation.
Meeting name
2017 International Association for Dialogue Analysis (IADA) Conference
Meeting place
Bologna, Italy
Meeting date
October 11-17
Conflict Resolution, Mediation, Argumentation, Power Asymmetry, Critical Discourse Analysis