power relations

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1. In interpersonal interaction, the relative status, power, and/or dominance of the participants, reflected in whether expectations and behaviour are reciprocal, and consequently in communicative style (see alsoreciprocity). Power relations are a key dimension in interpersonal communication. Seeasymmetrical relationships; complementary relationships; parallel relationships; symmetrical relationships.

2. Relationships of dominance and subordination between different groups: for instance within stratified social systems or in international relations (e.g. the West vs the rest).

3. For Foucault, the various patterns of domination and resistance in different social settings. He insisted that ‘There cannot be a society without power relations.’

Subjects: Media Studies.

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