Incivility as an instrument of oppression: Exploring the role of power in constructions of civility

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21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, I will explore the ways in which power is constructed through concepts of "civility" and "incivility." I contend that traditional desires to moderate or diffuse the emotions labeled as uncivil can result in stagnation or alienation for the employee. From a critical perspective, incivility may be an attempt to create dissonance that can foster individual and organizational change. I will address three types of power associated with the popularization of incivility-the "power of" elites (e.g., organizations) to define and construct what constitutes civility, the "power over" lower status individuals that catalyzes incivility, and the "power to" engage in incivility as acts of resistance against the other types of power. Finally, I will identify strategies for how HRD professionals address these issues of power and convert "incivility" to a means to create more humane workspaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-21
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

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