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The dual voice of power (E-book)

an Ethnographic Perspective on Meetings

Ellen van Praet | Engels

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The Dual Voice of Power discloses the duality of the discourse around meetings, 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.

Relying on participant observation, audio recordings and interviews the book uncovers the subtle political and ideological processes that underlie the event of a weekly gathering of Heads of Section at an embassy. The book juxtaposes participants assumptions and projections about the meetings 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.

ELLEN VAN PRAET is assistant professor at University College Ghent and post-doctoral researcher at Ghent University. She has published several articles in the field of linguistic ethnography, business meetings, media discourse, power, negotiation and decision-making strategies. She is a founding member of the Ghent University Research Group ``News Talk & Text ( where she studies performative and ritualistic aspects of interaction in the newsroom and project leader of the HOF project Flanders in the foreign press. A discursive analysis of the news production process.



  • Auteur(s)Ellen van Praet
  • UitgeverijAcco uitgeverij


The dual voice of power (E-book)
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