Human Studies 23 (1):1-21 (2000)

Mediation services arise in contexts where the notions of community cohesion, relationship integrity and social order are valued over their opposites (disorder, dissent, conflict etc). Yet it is not at all clear whether and how the mediation of conflict works to re-establish harmony or consensus. Indeed it is not at all clear that mediation is always effective or just. It has even been suggested that some conflicts (e.g. work-place, commercial and sexual assault) are either not resolved or not resolved justly by mediation. On the other hand, advocates maintain that mediation can bring resolution and repair to ongoing relationships, promote community harmony, and empower people to be self-determining in the construction and maintenance of their resolutions. Whether mediation is adjudged positively or not, all mediation is instantiated in, indeed performed through, talk. In this paper I examine mediations from an Australian mediation program, and use Conversation Analysis to expose the practical methods by which mediators achieve consensus between disputants. I then examine a case in which mediation has failed to produce the sought-after consensus, and explore one way of understanding the failure of mediation in that case.
Keywords Intersubjectivity  mediation  alternative dispute resolution  conflict and conflict resolution  conversation analysis  Alfred Schutz
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/a:1005562511798
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,219
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Common-Sense and Scientific Interpretation of Human Action.Alfred Schuetz - 1953 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 14 (1):1-38.
Lectures on Conversation.Harvey Sacks & Gail Jefferson - 1995 - Human Studies 18 (2):327-336.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
40 ( #268,148 of 2,448,407 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,843 of 2,448,407 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes