Doing Equality: What Does Non-HierarchicaL Social Organization Look Like


I have been writing about Critical Interactionism as a microsociological approach to domination, and have drawn attention to studies of “doing inequality” in everyday life. How do “more powerful” people interact with “less powerful” people?  What are the social processes through which inequality is reproduced?  How do “gatekeepers” weed out “undesirables”?  How do teachers at schools sort students so that some go to elite colleges and some drop out of school?


Here I want to consider the social processes through which non-hierarchical social organization get done?  What are the interactional dynamics of consensus decision-making?  What does turn-taking organization look like among equal, respectful partners?  How do we “do equality”?
To understand inequality, we need to examine equality, so that we have a “baseline” with which to compare.  Is equality done through a special symmetry of interactional moves, so that, for example, you often see equal amounts of listening and talking by each?

Work on micropolitics has pointed to some types of turns as more dominating: interruption, topic changes, storytelling, evaluative statements, the silence of not paying attention.

More to come.


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