|Title||Social deontics: A nano‐level approach to human power play|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, In Press, Deontics, Child development|
|Journal||Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior|
The notion of “deontic rights”—the capacity of an individual to determine action—is described as a tool to analyze human power plays in the turn‐by‐turn unfolding of social interaction. Drawing on various bodies of literature, the paper portrays the organization of the adjacency‐pair sequence as the key locus of negotiation over deontic rights. How such negotiations happen in practice is also considered. Two deontic patterns instantiating themselves in sequential relations—deontic congruence and deontic incongruence—are discussed. Negotiations of deontic rights are suggested to take place specifically in and through three different forms of deontic incongruence, each of which involves a subtle mismatch between the claims of deontic rights of the first speaker and the recipient's treatment of these claims. These implicit power plays easily escape the eye and are therefore difficult to reflect upon and counteract by the participants themselves, which makes a thorough understanding of these mechanisms important.