Dialogue and Power in Parent-Child Communication


  • Megan K. Foley University of Iowa




dialogue, social influence, family, resistance, compliance, grandmother, mother, daughter, relationship, power


Michelle MILLER-DAY (2004) provides an in-depth account of the negotiation of power in intergenerational maternal relationships. She provides a useful alternative to socialization and compliance-gaining perspectives on social influence between parents and children, which have limited formulations of children's agency. She proposes that despite their different statuses in the family hierarchy, both mothers and daughters experience a dialectical tension between power and powerlessness in communicative transactions. MILLER-DAY develops a grounded theory of necessary convergence, a symbolic process in which daughters—both powerfully and powerlessly—adopt their mothers' interpretations in order to maintain their relationship. This theory of necessary convergence can be productively supplemented by theorizations of dialogic multivocality, enabling this work's potentially broad transferability. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0602120


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Author Biography

Megan K. Foley, University of Iowa

Megan K. FOLEY is a Presidential Graduate Fellow in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa (USA). Her research focuses on the relationship between agency, social structures, and communicative acts. She is exploring this interest in the context of family discourse, particularly emphasizing intimate partner violence. Recently, she co-edited the book "Relating Difficulty: The Processes of Constructing and Managing Difficult Interaction" (http://bookweb.kinokuniya.co.jp/guest/cgi-bin/booksea.cgi?ISBN=0805854126) with D. Charles KIRKPATRICK and Steve DUCK (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 2006).




How to Cite

Foley, M. K. (2006). Dialogue and Power in Parent-Child Communication. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-7.2.97