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Control and Power

Essay by   •  March 2, 2011  •  Essay  •  250 Words (1 Pages)  •  1,066 Views

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In society as in our families, the terms conflict, power and violence are interrelated in our daily lives. According to scholars, every interaction has control, status or power messages; as we cannot not communicate and every message has a meaning, we might say that every time we use verbal or non verbal messages to express or intercommunicate with others (in society or within our family) we establish some kind of hierarchy in our minds: who has the power. We might not generalize about this statement (it might not be present in every communication episode) but it appears particularly clear in conflict.

Because of this characteristic of our interactions we should state that all communication is either symmetrical or complementary: symmetrical is when both parties have equal power, while complementary means that one of the parties has more power over the other.

Rogers and Farace described a coding system for this characteristic of communication: they broke symmetrical and complementary interactions and relationships into three different pars: the first one was one-up code (seeks control), one-down control ( yields control) and one-across code which means it neutralizes control and therefore this last one is symmetrical.

An example of this coding system could be a relationship between a mother and a daughter: the mother establishes the rule of not going out on Mondays and the daughter, whether she likes it or not, will accept it; this is an example of complementary family interaction where the mother seeks control and the daughter yields control.

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