|Author(s)||Angela Cora Garcia|
|Title||Dispute resolution without disputing: how the interactional organization of mediation hearings minimizes argument|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Dispute, Dispute resolution, Mediation|
|Journal||American Sociological Review|
Mediation is an institutional interactional system in which disputing parties discuss and resolve differences with the help of a third party. Conflicts can be resolved with minimal confrontation or argument in part because mediation de-emphasizes the adversarial nature of the situation and encourages cooperation. By analyzing the interactional organization of mediation hearings I show how mediation promotes agreement and minimizes argument. Mediation accomplishes these goals by an interactional organization that constrains how accusations and denials are positioned and formulated. Because this organization precludes the use of disputing techniques routinely used in ordinary conversation, disputes can be discussed and agreement reached without argument.