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communicative or strategic action-an examination of fundamental issues in the theory of communicative action

Journal article
Authors Anita Kihlström
Joachim Israel
Published in International journal of social welfare
Volume 11
Issue 3
Pages 9
ISSN 1369-6866
Publication year 2002
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 9
Language en
Keywords communicative action, strategic action, social action, dialogue, social work
Subject categories Social Work

Abstract

The study focuses on two types of social action-communicative and strategic- and examinses whether they have different effects on competence to act. Competence is here understood as a feeling of being able to handle a situation, which includes the participants`interpretation of the situation at hand, 'concealing of their action' and the intention to perform the act. Communicative action is a consensus-oriented process built upon the parties' mutual defintions of how to reach a goal. Strategic action is a way to more directly reach a goal wherer influencing and manipulating the other can take place. This thesis was investigated by means of an experimental study. The results indicate that communicative action seems to be connected with openness do diversity and individual experiences. It was also shown how the subtle epression of unaccepted power can disturb feelings of being capable and disturb the balance between one's self-respect and the other person's authority. This disturbance is caused not only by the content of the dialogue but also by the manner in which the encounter takes place. The result give partial confirmation to the thesis underlying the theory of communicative action.

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