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The dual voice of domination: ritual and power in a British embassy

Ellen Van Praet UGent (2010) TEXT & TALK. 30(2). p.213-233
abstract
This paper examines the political and ideological processes that underlie the ritual event of a weekly gathering of Heads of Section at a British embassy. Relying on participant observation, audio recordings and interviews, it juxtaposes participants’ assumptions and projections about the meeting’s symbolic role in achieving democratic ideals (community participation, status equality) with evidence of a battle zone, an arena for status contests and participants manoeuvring for position. It explores this contrast on multiple levels of discourse and interaction, using transcripts from interviews and interaction during the meetings. It demonstrates not only the ritualistic importance of meetings in consolidating the powers that be but also the duality of the discourse around them, with a proclaimed ideology of shared power, shared knowledge and equal opportunities masking and covering up an authority-based system promoting status differences and inequality.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
linguistic ethnography, ritual, power, meetings, organizational culture
journal title
TEXT & TALK
Text Talk
volume
30
issue
2
issue title
Linguistic ethnography and institutions
pages
213 - 233
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000276050900007
JCR category
LINGUISTICS
JCR impact factor
0.493 (2010)
JCR rank
79/141 (2010)
JCR quartile
3 (2010)
ISSN
1860-7330
DOI
10.1515/TEXT.2010.011
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
925849
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-925849
date created
2010-04-15 10:00:07
date last changed
2010-05-07 14:35:07
@article{925849,
  abstract     = {This paper examines the political and ideological processes that underlie the ritual event of a weekly gathering of Heads of Section at a British embassy. Relying on participant observation, audio recordings and interviews, it juxtaposes participants{\textquoteright} assumptions and projections about the meeting{\textquoteright}s symbolic role in achieving democratic ideals (community participation, status equality) with evidence of a battle zone, an arena for status contests and participants manoeuvring for position. It explores this contrast on multiple levels of discourse and interaction, using transcripts from interviews and interaction during the meetings. It demonstrates not only the ritualistic importance of meetings in consolidating the powers that be but also the duality of the discourse around them, with a proclaimed ideology of shared power, shared knowledge and equal opportunities masking and covering up an authority-based system promoting status differences and inequality.},
  author       = {Van Praet, Ellen},
  issn         = {1860-7330},
  journal      = {TEXT \& TALK},
  keyword      = {linguistic ethnography,ritual,power,meetings,organizational culture},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {213--233},
  title        = {The dual voice of domination: ritual and power in a British embassy},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2010.011},
  volume       = {30},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Van Praet, Ellen. 2010. “The Dual Voice of Domination: Ritual and Power in a British Embassy.” Text & Talk 30 (2): 213–233.
APA
Van Praet, E. (2010). The dual voice of domination: ritual and power in a British embassy. TEXT & TALK, 30(2), 213–233.
Vancouver
1.
Van Praet E. The dual voice of domination: ritual and power in a British embassy. TEXT & TALK. 2010;30(2):213–33.
MLA
Van Praet, Ellen. “The Dual Voice of Domination: Ritual and Power in a British Embassy.” TEXT & TALK 30.2 (2010): 213–233. Print.